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SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a program designed to increase access to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program is for eligible adults who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. 

Many suffer from disabling mental illnesses, co-occurring substance use, trauma, and medical issues that impact their ability to work. The path to recovery can be extraordinarily challenging when one is constantly struggling to meet basic needs. Having income and health care benefits is often a critical first step on the road to recovery.

SOAR Case Manager assists individuals applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) who:

  • are experiencing or at risk for homelessness
  • have serious mental and/or physical illnesses that affect their ability to work

SOAR is a model developed to help those who are experiencing or at-risk for homelessness, so they don’t need to fit the literal definition of homeless.  At-risk for homelessness can include those who are in transitional housing, couch-surfing, exiting jails/institutions without somewhere to live, and those in permanent supportive housing who are entirely supported by grant funding.

SOAR Case Manager Functions:

  • Facilitates communication among SSI/SSDI benefit applicants, case managers, Social Security Administration (SSA), Disability Determination Services (DDS), and community providers
  • Assumes a central role in gathering complete, targeted, and relevant information for SSA and DDS
  • Helps the disability determination process move more smoothly and quickly by providing assistance to SSA and DDS
  • Focus on documenting the disability and its effect on functioning via a Medical Summary Report, reducing the need for consultative exams
  • Seeks approval on initial applications, avoiding the need for appeals

Approval Rate

Data from the Social Security Administration documents an initial approval rate of 35% for persons who applied for SSI or SSDI in 2017.  SOAR National outcomes on initial applications using the SOAR model in 2017 have an average of 64% approval rate and 52% at the appeals stage.

For more information on the SOAR program through Southwest Iowa Disability Services contact 712-328-5812.

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This page was printed from the Southwest Iowa Mental Health & Disability Services Region on June 23, 2024. For the latest information, visit

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Call or text 988 or chat. for yourself or if you are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

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