New York

New York

Description of Project

The goal of SOAR is to increase access to the disability income benefit administered by the Social Security Administration for eligible adults who are homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness, and have a mental illness and/or physical illness.
A typical SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) certified staff works for an agency that provides case management services to individuals which may be receiving services at a Community Mental Health Center, Substance Abuse Agency, homeless service providers or sheltering agencies, and community or justice based agencies who interact with people who may be experiencing homelessness.  SOAR in New York wants to continue to work towards the goal of ending homelessness by improving the ability of people who are disabled and experiencing homelessness to secure the benefits to which they are entitled. These benefits provide individuals with an opportunity for housing, medical care, increased self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.
SOAR training is conducted through the SOAR Online Course; it is free and open to all participants.  The course includes a practice case component where the participant will complete a mock application that once complete is evaluated by staff at the SOAR TA Center.  Upon successful completion of the course 20 NASW CEUs are offered.  The SOAR online course is the preferred method of training in New York State and the state is no longer offering the two–day in person training.

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

In order to be eligible to submit SOAR applications in New York, all providers must successfully complete the SOAR Online Course.  Prior to commencing the on-line curriculum, it is recommended that individuals first contact the SOAR TA Center liaison Abigail Kirkman ( and discuss the process.
Once trained, SOAR case managers will be expected to:
  • Complete SOAR applications for applicant’s who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with a mental or physical disability that prevents them from being able to work.
  • Submit complete applications to the Social Security Administration; including use of all the SOAR critical components (which out outlined in the SOAR online course)
  • Register for and track all SOAR application outcomes in OAT (Online Application Tracking system) –