The Colorado Disability Benefits Support Program (DBS) was established in 2012 to remove the barriers that individuals experience in applying for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs. In 2017, we merged with Easter Seals Colorado and are now providing services as a department of that organization. Easter Seals DBS provides application and employment assistance utilizing the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) and IPS (Individual Placement and Support) models.
Byron Kish leads DBS’ efforts as the Colorado SOAR State Lead. He has experience filing SOAR applications, is a certified SOAR trainer and an attorney with experience in the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. Byron provides SOAR trainings that address Colorado specific procedures and have been developed in collaboration with the SOAR National TA Center, SSA Denver Regional Office, and the Colorado Disability Determination Services.
DBS works with communities across Colorado to train and develop local SOAR practitioners and provide ongoing technical assistance to support high quality applications. Our aim is to have SSI/SSDI application assistance available to anyone who needs it across the state. As part of that effort, DBS maintains a list of SOAR practitioners providing services in Colorado and is able to refer individuals seeking assistance to providers in their geographic area. We coordinate these efforts with the SSA Denver Regional Office who provides us with a list of SOAR liaisons serving each Colorado SSA field office.
Easter Seals DBS is also a resource for user-friendly information about SSA disability benefits. We have staff available to answer questions about eligibility and the disability process in Colorado and can connect callers with appropriate resources. We also offer user-friendly webinars to help families and organizations understand the disability application process and how to file a quality disability application.
Expectations of Participation in SOAR
Completion of Colorado Fundamentals Training with Online SOAR Training or Colorado SOAR training. Contact the Colorado State Team Lead (contact information above) for more information.
Assist in SSI/SSDI benefit acquisition as appropriate utilizing SOAR model principles including screening review, application assistance including completion of all required forms needed on the claim, writing, and submitting medical summary report (MSR), representation on the claim when appropriate, and quality review of all applicable documentation and processes.