The start of a new year encourages us to reflect on the changes and intentions we would like to set for the year ahead—whether that be enhancing our personal wellness or making changes to our workflow. This year, why not set a goal to expand your local SOAR initiative or strengthen your SOAR-assisted Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications?
Do you want to work on establishing a designated contact at the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office? Perhaps you want to build a relationship with a doctor for co-signing Medical Summary Reports (MSRs)? Maybe you want to start small and work on your first application and send your redacted MSR to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center for review? Or maybe, you want to go big and would like to become a SOAR Local Lead in your community? The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center can help you achieve these goals and more!
The first step to setting your SOAR goal is to review the Implementing State and Local SOAR Initiatives document. This tool is a great way to start and reflect on where you are with SOAR. This one-page document provides an overview of the keys to success in implementing the SOAR model. Highlighted steps include the following:
Introducing SOAR to your community
Training and supporting staff that assist adult SSI/SSDI and/or child SSI applicants
Tracking and reporting outcomes
Funding and sustaining your SOAR initiative
Ready to take the next step? Download Implementing State and Local SOAR Initiatives and then reach out to your SAMHSA SOAR Liaison to discuss the next steps and identify the tools that will help you SOAR!
This past year, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center began to expand its efforts to engage and inspire urban, rural, and reservation-based Native communities and organizations to take part in SAMHSA SOAR through specialized, culturally appropriate training and technical assistance. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center will continue to enhance these services across Indian Country in 2021. It will offer a series of introductory webinars to discuss the SOAR model, review how to become a SOAR-trained provider, and highlight how the SOAR approach can help providers in Native communities and organizations submit complete and high-quality SSI/SSDI applications. These 1-hour orientations are for everyone who has a stake in supporting Native adults and children experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including representatives from Native communities, organizations serving Native communities, and providers working in regions with large Native populations.
From November 17-19, 2020, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated a Virtual SOAR Leadership Academy for SOAR Local Leads. There were 18 participants representing 13 states (FL, IN, LA, ME, MI, MT, NE, OH, PA, SD, TX, WA, and WY). Highlights of the meeting included enthusiastic participation, excitement for implementing or expanding SOAR in their state/community, and great discussion from attendees in a virtual setting. This was a testament to our new Local Leads' commitment to learning how to use SOAR to achieve our goals of ending homelessness. We look forward to our new Local Leads SOARing in their communities!
Share Your Success With SAMHSA SOAR!
We love hearing from our committed SOAR Specialists, Local Leads, and State Leads about the difference that SOAR is making in the lives of applicants around the country. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is seeking SOAR success stories to feature in upcoming issues of our monthly SOAR enewsletter. Do you have an applicant success story, a spotlight on collaboration, or a shoutout to a hardworking SOAR specialist you'd like to share with us? Submit it to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, and your story could be featured in our next issue!
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place today, January 12, 2021, 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.
SSI for children is a critical support to families who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Establishing disability for children requires engagement with various child serving systems, such as education, behavioral health, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Often, these systems lack information sharing, which will make it more difficult for the family to establish a child's eligibility for SSI benefits. Building relationships with these systems and understanding how to best engage the entire family in the disability determination process is critical to submitting a successful SOAR-assisted child SSI application.
In this webinar, you will hear from seasoned SOAR providers who are having great success in building relationships with families and other professionals from child-serving systems in their communities. You will learn how to collaborate with medical providers on how they can more effectively document a child's disability. Presenters will also share their strategies on how to engage families and children using trauma-informed principles and promote racial equity.
ARDRAW Small Grant Program Offering $10,000 Stipends to Graduate Researchers
Application deadline: February 26, 2021
Informational webinar: January 28, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
SSA is once again awarding graduate students $10,000 stipends to research work, rehabilitation, and disability issues through the Analyzing Relationships Between Disability, Rehabilitation and Work (ARDRAW) Small Grant Program. The objective of ARDRAW is to foster new analyses of work, rehabilitation, and disability issues, which may develop innovative and fresh perspectives on disability by providing research stipends to a broad spectrum of graduate students.
Applicants must be masters, doctoral, or post-doctoral-level part-time or full-time graduate students pursuing studies in accredited programs at the time of the award (fall semester of 2021). Selected students will receive a stipend of $10,000 for the one-year program.
The ARDRAW Small Grant Program will be holding an informational webinar on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Interested students and faculty mentors are invited to attend. Webinar presenters will provide a brief introduction to the program, review the elements of a successful application, and answer any questions.
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.