The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is excited to release the 2018 National SOAR Outcomes for SSI/SSDI applications submitted using the SOAR process from 2006 through June 30, 2018. Over the last 13 years, the SOAR process has been used to assist more than 45,137 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness gain access to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefit programs.
Curious about the 2018 highlights of the outcomes summary? In 2018, decisions on SOAR-assisted initial applications were received in an average of 100 days with an allowance rate of 65 percent. Decisions on SOAR-assisted appeals were received in an average of 141 days with an allowance rate of 42 percent.
Communities around the country will be hosting Awareness Week events from November 10 to 18 that are designed to promote education, action, and awareness about hunger and homelessness. To find volunteer opportunities in your area, or to obtain resources to plan your own community event, visit the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week website.
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center would love to feature Awareness Week events that highlight our SOAR partners in a future issue of the SOAR eNews! To highlight your Awareness Week activities, send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOAR Referral Outcome from the Pinellas County Jail Pilot Program in Florida
This SOAR success story came to us from Directions for Living:
A SOAR Benefit Specialist received a referral for SOAR in the Jail Pilot from the Pinellas County Jail in Florida. The SOAR Benefit Specialist coordinated with the referral agent and the applicant's Public Defender to determine the applicant's status and needs. The SOAR Benefit Specialist learned that this client had been incarcerated for nearly a year and is a Veteran. The unit had been working closely with the Jail Diversion Program Placement Coordinator to find an assisted living facility for this client due to his mental health needs.
The SOAR Benefit Specialist met with the client and completed a SOAR assessment. The client reported serving in the military, and he reported receiving service-connected U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability but was unable to recall how much he was receiving or when he received the last check. The client reported a lengthy history of homelessness in multiple states dating back many years. There was concern for this client's mental health and his ability to independently manage his care and activities of daily living.
Given the client's age, he was not eligible for SSI/SSDI, but rather he was eligible for a reinstatement of his retirement benefits. As a result of a collaborative effort between the Jail Medical Unit, the client's Public Defender, the assisted living facility, and the SOAR Program, multiple sources of funding were found to be available to this client upon his release from jail, thus preventing him from returning to homelessness and without services.
SOAR: A Reentry Tool for Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System
On October 24, 2018, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center presented the webinar, SOAR: A Reentry Tool for Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System. This webinar was presented in partnership with SAMHSA's GAINS Center. During this webinar, we explored how SOAR implementation in criminal justice settings can be a strong reentry tool to increase housing stability and promote post-release success. The slides from this webinar are now available for download!
SOAR TA Opportunity for Criminal Justice Programs
Kick-off call: November 14, 2018; 3:00 p.m. ET
Intent to file application deadline: November 20, 2018
Application deadline: December 21, 2018
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is now accepting applications from criminal justice agencies and institutions that have not yet received SAMHSA-sponsored SOAR technical assistance.
To connect individuals leaving correctional facilities or involved in criminal justice systems or specialty courts with needed treatment, it is critical to leverage state and federal investments, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These federal programs can promote access to services that increase the likelihood of post-release success and contribute to the reduction in recidivism.
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications from agencies and institutions that provide services to individuals that are involved in the criminal justice system. Eligible candidates are those that are not currently successfully implementing SOAR.
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place on November 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 join to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have.
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about an ongoing caller-ID "spoofing" scheme misusing SSA's national customer service phone number. SSA has received numerous reports of questionable phone calls displaying SSA's 1-800 number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.
The reports indicate the calls display 1-800-772-1213, SSA's national customer service number, as the incoming number on caller ID. People who have accepted the calls said the caller identifies as an SSA employee. In some cases, the caller states that SSA does not have all of the person's personal information, such as their Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim SSA needs additional information so the agency can increase the person's benefit payment, or that SSA will terminate the person's benefits if they do not confirm their information.
The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be cautious and to avoid providing information, such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it. If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
SSA proposes to amend its regulations to prohibit persons convicted of certain crimes from serving as representative payees under the Social Security Act (Act). SSA is proposing these revisions because of changes to the Act made by the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. You may submit comments by any one of three methods—internet, fax, or mail.
New SAMHSA Tool Offers Hope to People Experiencing Early Serious Mental Illness and their Families
SAMHSA recently released the Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator, a confidential and anonymous online resource. This Treatment Locator provides information for individuals and their family members who are seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for a recent onset of serious mental illness, such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. These evidence-based programs provide medication, therapy, family and peer support, assistance with education and employment, and other services. Each program listing includes eligibility criteria, including age range and diagnoses treated, services provided, location, and contact information.