SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) Initiative Continues Excellent Outcomes

Last week, Policy Research Associates, Inc (PRA) released 2011 data illustrating the effectiveness of SOAR in expediting SSI/SSDI applications for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

SOAR is a federal program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, that helps states and communities increase access to Social Security disability benefits for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who have mental illnesses or other co-occurring disorders.  The initiative does this by creating collaborative partnerships between state and federal government agencies that allows case managers and clients to more easily navigate the SSI/SSDI application process.

Since 2006, 44 states have implemented SOAR processing over 15,000 applications.  Overall, those using the SOAR process have an overall SSI/SSDI application approval rate of 71%.  Without SOAR only 10–15% of homeless populations have their disability applications approved.  This connection to benefits establishes an income for those experiencing homelessness with complex health conditions and gives them a way to pay their portion of subsidized rent.  The SOAR initiative has many lessons that can be spread to more places and transferred to other populations of SSI/SSDI applicants.

For more information on SOAR outcomes and lessons learned go to - http://www.prainc.com/soar/.

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