A new evaluation of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) model published online by Psychiatric Services has found that disability applications that used the SOAR model had a higher likelihood of approval than applications that did not follow the SOAR model. The study, An Evaluation of SOAR: Implementation and Outcomes of an Effort to Improve Access to SSI and SSDI, was coauthored by Jacqueline F. Kauff and Elizabeth Clary of Mathematica Policy Research, Kristin Lupfer of Policy Research Associates and Director of the SOAR Technical Assistance (TA) Center, and Pamela J. Fischer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SOAR is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) 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. In this study, researchers examined how the SOAR program and TA provided through the SOAR TA Center impacted both implementation of the SOAR model within local communities and outcomes from this implementation.

The evaluation of SOAR concluded that SOAR clients achieved better application outcomes (i.e., approvals), when providers used the SOAR model to complete the application. Providers who used the SOAR model to complete disability applications achieved a 73 percent approval rating, and initial applications using the SOAR model were approved almost twice as often as disability applications for individuals experiencing homelessness that did not use the SOAR model (50 percent approval versus 28 percent approval).

Read the announcement from Mathematica Policy Research, Helping Connect Homeless People to Disability Benefits and watch the recap video to learn more.