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New Jersey

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Please select your state to view information and contacts for SOAR in your state. While there is SOAR activity in every state, there are not SOAR services available in every community.

State Information

New Jersey SOAR State Team

TA Center Liaison:

  • Pam Heine
    Phone: (518) 439-7415 x5228

SOARing in New Jersey

The SOAR effort in New Jersey 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 SOAR TA Center Liaison, using the contact information above, for more information about SOAR.

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

Individuals may become eligible to use the SOAR model by successfully completing the SOAR Online Course. Prior to beginning the SOAR Online Course, individuals are encouraged to contact the SOAR TA Center Liaison who can share more information about SOAR training and SOAR implementation considerations.

Expectations of SOAR-trained Caseworkers

  • Actively collaborate with state, local SOAR leads and SAMHSA TA Center Liaison. Follow the SOAR process, if one has been established.
  • 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 all the applications for both SSI and SSDI. (No fees will be collected for assisting with applications.)
  • 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 and, if possible, have it co-signed, by a physician or psychologist who has treated the applicant.
  • Stay connected with the applicant throughout the process by conducting ongoing outreach and engagement.
  • 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 an annual basis within the timeframes specified by the TA Center.
  • Join the SOAR TA Center List Serv and participate in national refresher courses and webinars.
  • SOAR caseworkers are encouraged to send redacted versions (remove Personal Identifying Information) of their first few Medical Summary Reports to their SOAR TA Center Liaison for quality review before submitting them to DDS.
  • No fees will be collected for assisting with the SOAR-assisted application!

The SOAR TA Center Liaison, State Team Lead and Local Leads may be contacted for information or questions about SOAR at any time and they are available to assist with establishing connections to SSA and DDS offices.

Outcomes Tracking

Training in the use of the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) program is available and the SOAR TA Center Liaison can answer questions about the OAT program. It is expected that SOAR-trained caseworkers will enter the outcomes of all SSI/SSDI applications submitted using the SOAR model. The SOAR TA Center will review data periodically and follow up with SOAR caseworkers regarding data and the quality of applications.

Local Leads:

  • Sindy Badillo
    North Brunswick, NJ
    Phone: 732-647-8336

  • Michaeline Buchanan
    Clifton, NJ
    Phone: 732-904-8851

  • Henry Busby
    New Brunsvick, NJ
    Phone: 732-745-5918

  • LaShaunda Carter
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Phone: 856-676-9803

  • Liseberde Colon-Blacknall
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 646-812-0068

  • Ann Dorocki
    Trenton, NJ
    Phone: 609-989-6826

  • Tanisha Ginlock
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 973-481-1211

  • Diane Hirko
    Trenton, NJ
    Phone: 609-394-8847 xx3532

  • Colleen Smith
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 973-733-5180

  • Roberta-Joy Taylor
    Rio Grande, NJ
    Phone: 609-886-6200 xx2205

  • Debra Underwood
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 973-481-1211

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