What is SOAR

What is SOAR


The SAMHSA SOAR initiative is intended for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. These terms are defined differently by SOAR and the Social Security Administration (SSA). It is important for SOAR providers to understand these differences when determining who meets the housing criteria to be a SOAR applicant and which cases can be expedited at SSA through the use of the “homeless flag.”

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) is an approach that helps states increase access to mainstream benefits for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness through strategic planning, training and technical assistance.

This tool is intended to help case workers identify adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness who may be eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. While we do not want to discourage anyone from applying for SSA benefits, this tool should help you identify individuals that most need your assistance with their SSI/SSDI application.  

Key Strategies provides best practices for collaborating with partners to help individuals experiencing homelessness successfully navigate the SSI/SSDI application process.

SOAR is about people, not forms. Success comes from compassion, persistence, and confidence in using SOAR and the tools it offers. You do NOT need to become an expert in SSA regulations or have all the answers.

Ready to start your local SOAR initiative? The SOAR TA Center is here to help! We've compiled key documents below to help you get started.

This guide will help you complete an SSI/SSDI application using the SOAR model. You have 60 days from the protective filing date (PFD) to submit a complete application packet to the Social Security Administration (SSA).  We encourage you to complete the process in less time as you are able.

The SOAR model for completing SSI/SSDI applications utilizes five critical components that significantly increase the likelihood of an approval for those who are eligible.

How does the SOAR application process differ from the conventional application process?  Let's see how implementing SOAR critical components helps the disability determination process move more smoothly and quickly. 

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a program designed to increase access to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits for eligible individuals who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. 


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