SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery)

SOAR Overview

SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) is a national program that provides strategic planning, training, and technical assistance to help state and community efforts to increase access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The training component of SOAR has moved to an online curriculum on the SOAR WORKS website. This is an estimated 16-hour course for case managers that is most effective if completed within one month. 

SOAR WORKS also has technical assistance videos, explanations of the SOAR process, and other resources on the website

SOAR Does Work!

Two of the main goals of SOAR are to increase the approval rate of SSI/SSDI applications and to decrease the amount of time that it takes for application approvals. Through 2011, this has been the case, and Alaska statistical numbers have consistently been better than National averages.

SOAR-Assisted Initial Application Outcomes



Years of Data

Total Decisions

Total Approvals

Allowance Rate (%)

Avg. Days to Decision











Medicaid Reimbursement

Another outcome from utilizing the SOAR process is cost savings for treatment providers that are able to retroactively bill Medicaid for services provided up to 90 days prior to the date of their SSI application.




Amount Reimbursed



9 approvals


Strategic Planning  The State SOAR  Team -- with the help of the SOAR TA Center(SAMHSA awardee Policy Research Associates, Inc. of Delmar, NY)  are looking for ways to expand the use of SOAR throughout the State of Alaska. Some key points of emphasis include:

  • Increase the submission and process(and data tracking) of SOAR applications throughout the State;
  • Encourage collaboration with:
    • Social Security Administration and Department of Disability Services:
    • Medical Providers throughout the State:
    • Department of Corrections;
    • Veterans groups; and
    • Youth Groups, especially for those aging out of the foster care system.      
  • Continue to train case managers (advocate and encourage funding for trainers time to facilitate trainings and ongoing TA) and encourage community dialogue on how to best utilize SOAR; Provide Technical Assistance for those trained and using application process for QA purposes as well.
  • Track SOAR data to gauge quality and outcomes of applications – and highlight cost savings;
  • Explore ways to hire a State SOAR coordinator.

Contact Information:

Dave Berube
Anchorage Community Mental Health Services

Scott Ciambor

State of Alaska

Alaska Mental Health Board/Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
(907) 465-5114