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SOAR is available in all 50 states. Please select your state to view information or find SOAR assistance for your state.

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SOARing in Louisiana

The SOAR effort in Louisiana is an initiative designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

Individuals interested in training are encouraged to reach out to the State Lead or SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above for more information about SOAR.

Louisiana SOAR State Team

State Team Lead(s):
Jacqueline Porter
Phone: 225-342-4335

TA Center Liaison: Amanda Starkey
Phone: (518) 439-7415 x5251

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

Individuals may become eligible to utilize the SOAR model by completing the SOAR Online Course. Prior to beginning the online curriculum, individuals are encouraged to contact the State Team Lead or SOAR TA Center to discuss their training needs and expectations.

Expectations of SOAR-trained Caseworkers

  • Serve as appointed representative for the purpose of applying for SSI/SSDI. Representation includes “standing in” for the applicant, responding to questions, receiving copies of all mail sent to the applicant, and communicating back and forth with SSA and DDS.
  • Complete the applications for both SSI and SSDI.
  • Collect medical records from providers who have treated the applicant over the last two years.
  • Write a comprehensive SOAR Medical Summary Report that includes psychosocial, treatment, and functional information that is co-signed, if at all possible, by a physician or psychologist who has seen the individual.
  • Conduct ongoing outreach and engagement with the individual to stay connected throughout the process and to work with the individual to obtain other needed services and treatment such as housing, physical and mental health care, other support services, food, and clothing.
  • Track applications and outcomes, including number of applications completed, approvals/denials, and time to decision from application submission to receipt of SSA’s decision.
  • Report outcomes on at least an annual basis within the stated timeframes as requested.
  • No fees will be collected for completion of the application.
  • Actively collaborate with local SOAR Leads.
  • Participate in refresher courses and quality reviews of applications. SOAR caseworkers are encouraged to send redacted versions of their first few Medical Summary Reports to the SOAR TA Center for quality review before submission to DDS.
The ability to submit SOAR applications is contingent upon following the local SOAR process.
SOAR-trained individuals will also be connected with the State Team Lead, the SOAR TA Center Liaison, and Local SOAR Leads. Any of these persons may be contacted for information or questions at any time about SOAR and they are available to assist with connections to SSA and DDS offices in the state.

Outcomes Tracking

Training in the use of the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) program is available, and the SOAR TA Center can answer questions about the OAT system. It is expected that SOAR-trained caseworkers will enter data about their SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model as they complete each application. The SOAR TA Center will review data periodically and follow up with SOAR caseworkers regarding this data and quality review of applications.

Local Leads

NJaya Bethancourt
West Baton Rouge, LA
Phone: 225-342-8994 

Kristin Brooks
Lake Charles, LA
Phone: 337-721-4030 5120

Mary  Chollette
Metairie, LA
Phone: 959-299-6448 

Kathleen North
New Orleans, LA
Phone: 504-899-4589 x108

Angela Owczarek
New Orleans, LA

Steven Reed
New Orleans, LA
Phone: 504-529-1000 x287

Kirk Rochel
Terrytown, LA
Phone: 504-338-8172 

Pamela  Scott
New Orleans, LA
Phone: 504-482-2130 

Erika Smothers
Baton Rogue, LA
Phone: 225-388-5800 

Debbie Triggs
Houma, LA
Phone: 985-876-8896 

Wilbur Varner
Monroe, LA
Phone: 318-807-6200 

Calvin Williams
Monroe, LA
Phone: 318-807-6200 

Damian  Williams
Lafayette, LA
Phone: 337-255-5170 

Karen  Williams
Alexandria, LA
Phone: 318-442-8026 

Trichelle  Wilson
Shreveport, LA
Phone: 318-670-4591 


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