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Masthead which shows picture of homeless man and SOAR logo

What is SOAR?

Photo of group of peopleSupplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to individuals who are eligible. 

The SSI/SSDI application process is complicated and difficult to navigate, particularly for people who are homeless or who are returning to the community from institutions (jails, prisons or hospitals).  For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process poses an even greater challenge…

…yet accessing these income and health care benefits is often a critical first step on the road to recovery

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a national project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that is designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adultsIndividuals who are able to apply for benefits as an adult under SSA rules. This includes 17-year-olds who are within one month of their 18th birthday. Youth aging out of the foster care system may apply within 90 days of their 18th birthday. who are homeless or at risk of homelessnessSOAR uses the same definition of homelessness as the Federal Projects for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program: persons who are "homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless" (Public Health Service Act, Part C, Section 522(a)(2)).  and have a mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. Using a 3-pronged approach of Strategic Planning, Training, and Technical Assistance (TA), the SOAR TA Center coordinates this effort at the state and community level.

Click here to read more about the history of SOAR and how we are able to provide cost-free services.