The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is excited to release the 2017 National SOAR Outcomes for SSI/SSDI applications submitted using the SOAR process from 2006 through June 2017. Over the last 12 years, the SOAR process has been used to assist more than 40,311 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness gain access to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefit programs.
Curious about the 2017 highlights of the outcomes summary? In 2017, decisions on SOAR‐assisted initial applications were received in an average of 96 days with an allowance rate of 64 percent. Decisions on SOAR‐assisted appeals were received in an average of 186 days with an allowance rate of 52 percent.
On February 27, 2018 the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center hosted a webinar to release the 2017 SOAR outcomes and highlight incredible success stories from around the country. The webinar recording and slides are now available for download.
Read the full SOAR 2017 Outcomes Issue Brief on our website and view the outcomes infographic! Thank you for helping to make the SOAR Outcomes such a success each year. Keep SOARing!
Birmingham, Alabama Leadership Academy
From February 6-8, 2018, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Birmingham, Alabama. Pamela Heine, Amanda Starkey, Suzy Sodergren, and Dazara Ware facilitated the training. There were 32 participants representing 24 states and the District of Columbia (AL, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, MD, MS, MT, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WI). Throughout the 3 days of training, there was enthusiastic participation and commitment to SOAR, a testament to the participants' dedication to use SOAR to achieve their goals of ending homelessness in their communities. Congratulations to our new graduates! We are excited to see you SOAR!
SOAR Job Postings
The County of Santa Barbara, California is hiring a Homeless Assistance Program Manager. This is an important leadership position, which will administer Santa Barbara County's homeless programs by monitoring and evaluating program compliance with policies established by the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive's Office, and the local Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care.
Learn more about this position, including how to apply, on the SOAR website!
Spring Ahead on Your SSI/SSDI Applications with SOAR Tools
Looking to do some spring cleaning and enhance your SOAR applications? Check out these great resources from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center!
SOAR Resource Library: Trying to find a particular SSA Form? Want to enhance your Medical Summary Report? Look no further than the SOAR Resource Library, where there are hundreds of resources waiting for you!
SOAR Webinars: Did you miss one of our recent (or long-past) webinars? We catalog all of our webinars so you can easily download the webinar slides, view the recordings, and view any and all supplemental materials!
Sharing Our Success
Congratulations to SOAR case manager Lisa Calloway from Loup City, Nebraska! She recently worked with a Veteran to apply for Social Security disability benefits using the SOAR process. The Veteran was approved for SSDI in 122 days and DDS found him disabled since 2010, resulting in over $100,000 in back payments! Lisa explained that this gentleman had been experiencing homelessness for nearly 7 years, but never saw himself as such; instead, he preferred to say that he was "living independently." Despite living in an abandoned trailer without electricity or running water, he took great care of his many cats and was a very proud man. Prior to his benefits being approved, he was housed through the local Housing Authority and is now living there full time. With the help of SOAR and his family, he now has a permanent home, is able to pay rent, and has a car so he can get to and from his appointments and visit his cats whenever he wants. Lisa said "it was such an honor to work with this gentleman and I feel so grateful that I could give a little back to a Veteran who selflessly gave to me." What a wonderful success story—keep SOARing Lisa!
Melina Lasatar has joined the Texas Homeless Network (THN) as the new Texas SOAR Statewide VISTA member. Melina will coordinate SOAR while working as a VISTA for THN. Melina says that she is "looking forward to my service year with THN and contributing to the effectiveness of SOAR." Welcome, Melina!
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place March 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center hosts this series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can log in to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the launch of Concierge for Care, a health-care enrollment initiative that connects with former service members shortly after they separate from the service. As part of Concierge for Care, VA staff members are personally contacting recently separated service members to answer questions, process their health-care enrollment applications over the phone and help schedule eligible Veterans' first VA medical appointment, if needed.
The National Council for Disability (NCD) will host its next quarterly Council meeting on Thursday, March 8 in Washington, DC during which time it will discuss and decide its policy priorities for the next fiscal year. The Council wants to hear your thoughts regarding the slate of proposed projects under consideration. Please consider joining the meeting during public comment (by phone or in-person) or sending NCD an email ahead of the meeting, so the Council Members are aware of your votes before the vote. Comment submissions should be received by the close of business on Wednesday, March 7.