(SOAR) Previewing the National SAMHSA SOAR Outcomes | SAMHSA SOAR eNews

Plus, SOAR success stories from KS and TX!
Plus, SOAR success stories from KS and TX!
2020 SAMHSA SOAR November eNews
SOAR Works 2020 National Outcomes Preview
SOAR 2020 National Outcomes Infographic / Text Alternative

2020 National SAMHSA SOAR Outcomes Preview!

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is thrilled to release a preview of the 2020 National SOAR Outcomes for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications submitted using the SOAR model from 2006 through June 30, 2020! Over the last 15 years, the SOAR model has been used to assist 55,210 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness gain access to the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) disability benefit programs.

2020 National Outcomes Highlights

In the 2020 reporting period, decisions on SOAR-assisted initial SSI/SSDI applications were received in an average of 115 days with an allowance rate of 65 percent. Decisions on SOAR-assisted appeals were received in an average of 211 days with an allowance rate of 50 percent (a 19.05-percent increase from 2019!).
Reported data also highlighted the incredible financial impact of the SAMHSA SOAR model. In 2020 alone, approved applications brought in 518 million dollars into economies of participating localities! SOAR changes lives, and it transforms communities!
Download the 2020 SOAR National Outcomes infographic (or download the text alternative) to see all the highlights from the 2020 Outcomes today! The full National Outcomes issue brief will be released in the coming months.
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center would like to extend an enthusiastic thank you to our State Leads, Local Leads, and SOAR practitioners for making the National Outcomes such a success this and every year. It is through your tireless work that we can help transform the lives of thousands of eligible adults and children through the SOAR model. Keep SOARing!
Download the Infographic
Download the Text Alternative
SAMHSA SOAR Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

SAMHSA SOAR Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the culture, heritage, and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives past and present. This month is an opportunity to learn more about the unique challenges Native American communities face and understand how your work can support the health, well-being, and resiliency of Native American children, adults, and communities.
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to kick off Native American Heritage Month with the program's expansion into Indian Country and commitment to providing specialized, culturally appropriate training and technical assistance designed to increase access to disability income benefits for eligible Native American children and adults living in urban, rural, and reservation-based communities. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center will work with tribes and tribal organizations to implement SOAR, train tribal leaders to become SOAR providers, and increase collaboration between SOAR, Native American communities, and local, state, and federal partners.
In the coming months, we invite you to visit the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center's American Indian and Alaska Native Resources page for new materials, upcoming webinars, and networking events. Don't forget to download our latest infographic, SOAR for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
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Sharing Our Successes

Kansas Applicant SOARs at Work

SOAR provider Jonathan Pendergrass from Four County Mental Health Center in Independence, Kansas, wrote in to share this SOAR success story:
"I have a client who lost his job due to the onset of psychosis, which led to legal issues and homelessness. Thanks to the SOAR model and the ability to work closely with his treatment team and community partners, we got him approved for Presumptive Medicaid quickly. This allowed us to get him into our shared living program at a dollar per month. Plus, he began attending our Clubhouse program, where he was able to focus on activities of daily living and communication skills in a group setting. His participation in these programs allowed us time to help him get on a daily routine, including a routine with his medications.
He then was able to obtain a job at a local fast-food restaurant, where he worked part-time. His employer has been very understanding and has worked with the client during times of absence when inpatient care was needed.
Thanks to SOAR, my former client was able to transition from a critical point in his life to becoming working ready, knowing that he now has finances and medical coverage that supplements him when he experiences symptoms. This client really enjoys working and being around others, but this was not possible when he lacked the proper resources and support.
He is housed, employed, stays consistent with treatment, and is grateful for the possibility to do so. This client could not have made it through the disability benefit application process without help as he had neither a mailing address or many resources nor the ability to independently follow through with the requirements of SSA or Disability Determination Services (DDS). He has expressed gratitude many times since his approval, stating things like, "SOAR gave me my life back" and "There was no way I could have kept up with all the things I needed to do to get back on track."
Thank you so much for sharing this remarkable success story, Jonathan! 
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SOAR-Assisted Applicant Thrives in Fort Worth, Texas

Sheila Beach-Cramblet from MHMR Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote in to share this incredible success story:
"I first met Jonathan* when he was released from inpatient mental health treatment at the local hospital; prior to his hospitalization, he was experiencing homelessness. I worked with him on his SOAR-assisted SSI application. From the date of his application to the case being sent back to the local DDS office was exactly 30 days! Jonathan was approved for SSI and Medicaid. When I told him his SSA case was awarded, the look on his face told it all. He once again had hope.
I still talk with his case manager and check up on him. Jonathan is living in a group home, can pay his rent, and is thriving. Being awarded SSI completely changed his life. He went from wanting to end his life to embracing life and thriving."
What an incredible success story, Sheila! When asked what words of advice she would provide to other SOAR practitioners, Sheila said, "Keep communication open with your local SOAR examiners at the DDS office. Get to know them. They are there for you. They are very helpful, and we are all working toward the same goal of getting our clients experiencing homelessness the benefits to which they are entitled. I call them so much; all I have to say is…'this is Sheila from MHMR in Fort Worth.'"
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

November 10, 2020 (Today!), 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place on November 10, 2020 (Today!), 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.
Add SOARing Over Lunch to Your Calendar

Webinar Materials Now Available: SOARing to Employment With SSA Work Incentives and Benefits Planning

In this webinar, held on October 29, 2020, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center discussed SSA Work Incentives and other employment resources, busted some myths surrounding working while applying for and receiving benefits, and presented an updated issue brief from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center. The materials from this webinar, including the slide presentation and issue brief, are now available for on-demand access.

Get Social With the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center

Hear more about what SAMHSA SOAR is up to via @samhsagov on Twitter, @samhsa on Facebook, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on LinkedIn!
SOAR LinkedIn Post 1: SOAR in your state SOAR LinkedIn Post: SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum

Federal Updates

SAMHSA Releases My Mental Health Crisis Plan App

SAMHSA has released a new mobile app, My Mental Health Crisis Plan, which allows individuals who have a serious mental illness to create a plan to guide their treatment during a mental health crisis. The app provides an easy, step-by-step process for individuals to create and share a psychiatric advance directive. 
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