SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Initiative (SOAR) Program

Program Description:

The SOAR Program is a national model created by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) that assists individuals who are homeless or at risk of being homeless apply for SSI/SSDI. The individual has to have a serious mental illness or exhibit symptoms of a serious mental illness that impacts their ability to work at a substantial gainful level ($1,170 in 2017). It is also beneficial for that individual to be treated by a medical provider that can provide records of such illness.
Once an individual is enrolled in the program, the individual and the case manager work together to collect medical records and a report that is called a Medical Summary Report (MSR). The MSR is a “snap shot” of the individual applying that is an additional step to the traditional process of applying for SSI/SSDI. It creates a picture of who the individual applying for disability is and is not done in the “typical” application process.

Eligibility Guidelines:

The following four characteristics represent key eligibility criteria for SSA disability benefits:
Applicant has a serious mental illness or exhibits symptoms and/or has serious physical illnesses that affect their ability to work at a substantial gainful level ($1,170/month)
The illness(es) or condition(s) have lasted or are expected to last for at least 12 months (or result in death)
Individual is currently exhibiting symptoms of mental illness or has periods with worsening of symptoms that prevents sustainable        employment. For example: Psychotic symptoms (positive or negative); Manic symptoms (racing thoughts, disorganized thoughts); Anxious feelings (paranoia, nervousness); Cognitive deficits (brain injury, problems with concentration, memory, etc.); History of trauma (history of abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, etc.
For applicants with mental illness, they have marked restrictions in at least 2 of these functional areas: Activities of daily living (personal hygiene, cleaning, transportation, etc.); Social functioning (getting along with others, anger, avoidance, etc. ); Concentration, persistence and pace (as they related to the ability to complete tasks);  Repeated episodes of decompensation (hospitalizations, incarcerations, losing jobs/housing, etc.).

Application Process:

For questions or to apply call the Newcap Oconto Office to talk to the SOAR Case Manager. More information can be found at: