SAMHSA SOAR October E-News

Plus, a SOAR job posting in Texas
Plus, a SOAR job posting in Texas
SAMHSA SOAR October 2019 E-News

Build Your SOAR Toolbox: Two New Appeals Resources

Appeals are an important part of the disability benefit application process. While SOAR providers do their best to help eligible individuals get approved on initial application, sometimes the application is denied and the SOAR provider needs to help that individual through the appeals process. Appeals may also be necessary when a SOAR provider meets someone who has already applied and been denied, or if they were not able to provide sufficient evidence for the initial application.

To assist SOAR providers who are guiding an applicant through the appeals process, the SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance (TA) Center has produced two new appeals resources!

The SSA Appeals Process: Information for Caseworkers and Applicants

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your applicant's application for disability benefits, you and the applicant may request an appeal. SSA has four appeal levels. This article discusses two of these levelsReconsideration and Hearing by Administrative Law Judge.

SOAR Collaboration with SSA's Office of Hearings Operations

This article explains how you can promote SAMHSA SOAR with your SSA Office of Hearings Operations office to help ease their backlog and workload issues, while at the same time, improving access to expedited decisions for SOAR applicants.

These new tools can help SOAR providers everywhere build out their SOAR toolbox to better assist 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.
Seattle Leadership Academy Group Photo

September Seattle SAMHSA SOAR Leadership Academy Recap

From September 10-12, 2019, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Seattle, Washington. Dan Coladonato, Abigail Kirkman, and Dazara Ware of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 22 participants representing 15 states and Washington, DC (AZ, CT, DC, FL, ID, IN, KS, MN, NM, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, WA, and WY). There was enthusiastic participation and genuine warmth throughout the entire 3 days of training. This was a testament to our new Local Leads' commitment to learning how to use SOAR to achieve our goals of ending homelessness. We're excited to see you SOAR!

Sharing Our Successes

Nevada SOAR Celebration

Wayne Young, Director of Public Benefits, Wellcare Services and Southern Nevada SOAR Local Lead, wrote in to highlight SOAR State Team Lead Tiffany Evans:

"Tiffany Evans had huge shoes to fill when she accepted the Nevada SOAR State Liaison position, and she has not disappointed. Tiffany has been instrumental to the support of all the Nevada Local Leads, providing cohort trainings, sustaining needed relationships with SSA and the Department of Disability Services (DDS), re-establishing the monthly SOAR Practitioner's Meetings, and coordinating the most amazing and successful Annual Statewide Community Training to date! Tiffany's efforts are effective, memorable, and filled with compassion for our vulnerable population. We are so lucky to have her working in our community."
Thank you for sharing, Wayne, and congratulations, Tiffany! Keep SOARing Nevada!

Virginia Hosts SOAR Leadership Summit

On September 4 and 5, 2019, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services' Office of Community Housing hosted a 2-day SOAR Leadership Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia. Summit attendees included the Virginia SOAR State Team Lead, SOAR Local Leads from across the Commonwealth, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison to Virginia, and representatives from SSA and DDS. During the summit, participants discussed SOAR expansion in Virginia, reviewed the year's outcomes, identified areas for future focus, and networked with stakeholders from across the state. Congratulations, Virginia! We are excited to see you SOAR in 2020.
Virginia Leadership Summit Attendees
Virginia SOAR Leadership Summit attendees
Submit Your SOAR Success
*Sharing Our Successes stories are edited for brevity and clarity. All client names have been changed to protect anonymity.


SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

October 8, 2019; 1:00 p.m. ET 

The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place on October 8, 2019, 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 any SOAR-related question they may have. 
Add SOARing Over Lunch to Your Calendar

SOAR Job Postings


Texas Homeless Network is seeking a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA SOAR Coordinator based in Austin, Texas. The successful candidate will assist with identifying communities to work with on implementing SOAR and increase the number of case managers who are processing SOAR-assisted claims in Texas.
Learn more about these postings on the SOARWorks website. Do you have a job posting you would like to share with the SOAR community? Submit it to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center

Get Social with the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center

Hear more about what SAMHSA SOAR is up to via @samhsagov on Twitter and @samhsa on Facebook!
 SAMHSA Facebook post of SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum SAMHSA Tweet of SOAR Celebrating Recovery Month

Federal Updates

HUD and VA Award Grants to Serve Youth and Veterans who are Experiencing Homelessness

To help end youth homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $75 million to 23 local communities, including 8 rural communities through its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). This program supports a wide range of housing programs and communities and will bring together a variety of stakeholders from the HUD Continuum of Care, public child welfare agencies, schools, and behavioral health providers to develop and implement plans to end youth homelessness.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded more than $30 million in new grants to provide wraparound supportive services to Veterans who were previously experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their housing through the Grant and Per Diem Program. These new grants improve housing retention among Veterans who were formerly experiencing homelessness by providing an array of individualized services that promote housing stability, including increasing income stability.

We encourage state and local SOAR initiatives to work in partnership with these new grantees, to increase access to SOAR assistance for the youth and Veterans they are serving.

Social Security Announces First Potential Group of Participants for New Electronic Social Security Number Verification Service

SSA announced the first potential group of selected participants for its new electronic Consent-Based Social Security Number (SSN) Verification (eCBSV) service. The agency will roll out the service to these users in June 2020, and plans on expanding the number of users within approximately 6 months of the initial rollout.

Social Security is creating eCBSV, a fee-based electronic SSN verification service, to allow select financial institutions and service providers, called "permitted entities" and including subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, subcontractors, or assignees of a financial institution, to verify if a person's SSN, name, and date of birth combination matches Social Security records. Social Security needs the person's written consent and will accept an electronic signature in order to disclose the SSN verification to the permitted entity.
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Technical Assistance (TA) Center is sponsored by SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Disclaimer: The SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center is sending this eNews with support from SAMHSA, HHS. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of HHS or SAMHSA.