Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a national program designed to increase the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults and children who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. The SOAR TA Center coordinates the implementation of state and local-level SOAR programs at no cost to the communities it serves.

SOAR works in several ways:

  • Provides training for case managers on how to complete and submit complete and high-quality SSI/SSDI application
  • Helps communities establish a process for submitting and processing of SSI/SSDI applications
  • Supports State and Local SOAR Leads who support SOAR-trained specialists and engage stakeholders
  • Provides technical assistance to keep local SOAR efforts moving forward

The goal of the SOAR program is to end homelessness through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports. This directly addresses SAMHSA’s assertion regarding recovery supports: “To recover, people need a safe, stable place to live.” For many persons in recovery, accessing benefits is a first step, but SOAR also extends beyond and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that: “to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.”

The SOAR Overview provides an outline of the following:

  • The need for SOAR
  • How SOAR works
  • The three-step approach to SOAR implementation (strategic planning, training leaders, and technical assistance)
  • Recent national SOAR outcomes

This document was first shared in 2021.

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