SOAR is an amazing program that helps people who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless with their disability applications.
SOAR is totally free! Totally! Always.
Unfortunately, SOAR is not available in all areas. If you are able to get help from SOAR, you are very lucky! They can help a LOT.
Who Can Use SOAR?
SOAR is designed to help people who are homeless or “at risk for homelessness.”
You do not need to be sleeping on the street. You may be eligible if you have an eviction notice or foreclosure notice, or you are temporarily staying with someone who has asked you to move out but you have nowhere to go, or you are living in a condemned building or other space not intended for sleeping, or you are being released from prison or a residential facility or institution, or you are in a transitional housing with a time limit, or if you are living in a shelter or supportive housing program.
Most SOAR programs require a diagnosis of serious mental illness, but some SOAR programs will work with you if your condition is physical.
Some SOAR programs will only work with people that have difficulty with filling out forms and attending meetings and would be unable to complete the process on their own.
Does SOAR Work?
SOAR does incredible work in helping people who are disabled and homeless or at risk for homelessness.
Some areas have amazing outcomes. In Philadelphia, the success rate is 96%! In Nashville it is 99%!
The national approval rate for initial applications with SOAR 67%.
The approval rate without SOAR is 33%.
Initial Aps & Appeals
For initial applications: SOAR specializes in initial applications.
For appeals: Some SOAR programs do appeals, some do not. Many SOAR workers are not trained in appeals. In the dream world, you could get a lawyer plus get help from a SOAR worker.
With and Without SOAR
Applications with SOAR:
- Cost = $0
- Average Approval Time = 3 months
- Chances of Initial Approval = 67%
Applications Without SOAR:
- Cost with lawyer = Up to $6,000 (only if you win, no cost up front)
- Cost without lawyer: $0
- Average Approval Time = 5 months (initial decision) 2 years (appeal decision)
- Chances of Initial Approval = 33%
What Will SOAR Write About Me
If you work with SOAR, they will create a Medical Summary Report about you and your medical history. These reports are very unique – they are something that will not be done by a doctor, lawyer or regular caseworker. Only SOAR does them. They can be a great help and make a huge difference in your case.
Your SOAR caseworker may ask you a lot of questions. All of your answers may go into the report. They will also observe the way you dress, speak, and act and how well you are able to function, focus, concentrate, interact with people, and remember things. All of these things may also go into your Medical Summary Report.
In addition, your SOAR caseworker will help you collect your medical records and help manage your application and appointments.
Website & Warnings
Some of our readers have visited the SOAR website, and gotten scared off from using the program. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- After looking at the website, some people get the idea that they need to have an addiction to qualify for SOAR. Not true! The website just says the word “addiction” a lot.
- After looking at the website, some people think there is no SOAR program in their area. Maybe not true! Many of the SOAR programs and areas are not listed on the website. You may have to make several phone calls or send several emails to find the program in your area.
- After looking at the website, some people have reported that they are confused by SOAR and don’t believe it will help them. Not true! SOAR greatly helps people, but the website is designed as a training tool for caseworkers, not for ordinary folks.
Some readers also report that it was not easy to get into the SOAR program. It may take many calls or tries. The people who work doing SOAR are often overworked trying to save the world! They are doing amazing things to help people. Some of them are volunteers. They may also require that you get a referral or start mental health services at their agency. Please don’t give up. If you think SOAR can help you, it is worth persisting.
Contact SOAR: https://soarworks.prainc.com/directory
Sample Medical Summary Reports: https://soarworks.prainc.com/article/sample-medical-summary-reports
SOAR: SSI/SSDI Outreach Access & Recovery
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration