SOAR eNews - April 2014

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April 2014

2013 SOAR Outcomes

The SOAR TA Center is excited to release the outcomes of SSI/SSDI applications submitted using the SOAR process from 2006 through June 30, 2013. Since SOAR began, more than 19,000 people who were experiencing or at-risk for homelessness have been approved for SSI/SSDI upon initial application through the SOAR approach. An additional 3,000 persons, whose applications were denied initially, were approved on reconsideration or appeal. Taken together, since 2006, the SOAR approach is responsible for assisting 22,100 persons who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness to access Social Security disability benefits. The average approval rate on initial applications is 65 percent, with decisions received in an average of 100 days in 2013.
Fifteen states report that they secured new or sustained funding for their SOAR programs, including four states that created a total of 11 new full-time SOAR positions and two half-time SOAR positions. Read more about SOAR in your state and successful SOAR collaborations:

SAMHSA Announces 2014 Continuum of Care (CoC) SOAR Technical Assistance Awards

On March 28, six CoCs were awarded targeted SOAR technical assistance for 2014. Eighteen CoCs applied and the competition was strong. The CoCs that were chosen worked hard to identify partners and begin action plans for SOAR implementation in their communities. Congratulations to the following CoCs:
  • Long Beach, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Big Bend, FL
  • Suburban Cook County, IL
  • Fort Worth/Arlington/Tarrant County, TX
  • Mountainland and Balance of State, UT
SOAR TA Center staff will work with each CoC lead to attend a leadership academy, organize a strategic planning forum and implement SOAR in their communities.

Funding Opportunities

SAMHSA's Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals - Services in Supportive Housing
SAMHSA anticipates over $9.9 million being available to fund up to 25 grants to support the development and/or expansion of local implementation and community infrastructures that integrate treatment and services for substance use, co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, permanent housing, and other critical services for individuals who experience chronic homelessness.
SAMHSA funds will support three primary types of activities: 1) behavioral health treatment and other recovery-oriented services; 2) coordination of housing and services that support the implementation and/or enhance the long-term sustainability of integrated community systems that provide permanent housing and supportive services; and 3) efforts to connect clients who experience substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders to enrollment resources for health insurance, Medicaid, and other benefit programs (e.g., SSI/SSDI, TANF, SNAP, etc.). Applications are due April 25, 2014. For more information, visit:
HUD Annouces Funding to Prevent Homelessness, Institutionalization of People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide $120 million in rental assistance to prevent thousands of people with disabilities from becoming homeless or having to live in institutions instead of integrated settings in their own communities. The funding will go to state housing agencies to develop long-term rental assistance programs for extremely low-income people with disabilities. The deadline for housing agencies to apply for this funding is May 5, 2014. For more information, visit:

Sharing Our Successes

SOAR News and Accomplishments
First SOAR Learning Community Call
On March 18th, 91 participants joined our first SOAR Learning Community Call. The SOAR TA Center shared information about creating and leading SOAR steering committees, and participants exchanged ideas about how to apply it in their communities. If you missed the call, you can access the recording here: Please join us for the next two upcoming calls - both will be held at 3:00-4:30pm EDT:
Tuesday, May 20: Funding & Sustainability - Register Here
Tuesday, July 22: Supporting Quality Applications - Register Here
March Leadership Academy
The second SOAR Leadership Academy was held March 4-6 in Phoenix, AZ:. We welcomed 27 new SOAR Local Leads from 10 states!
Attendees of second SOAR Leadership Academy
Please join us for an upcoming Leadership Academy:
May 6 - 8, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland
June 3 - 5, 2014 in Portland, Oregon
September 10 - 12, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
If you have a SOAR-related success story to share, e-mail
In the March eNews we mistakenly attributed the success story from Columbus House in New Haven, CT, to the incorrect author and SOAR practitioner. We’d like to thank Libby Protzman for submitting the story and for her great SOAR work in Connecticut!

Social Security Administration (SSA) Updates

SSA Proposes Changing Rules for Submitting Evidence for Disability Claims
SSA is asking for public comments on a new proposal that would change the rules for submitting medical and other evidence for disability applications. SSA plans to require that people applying for Social Security disability benefits submit all evidence that relates to their disability claims, including documents that may not support their claim of being disabled. A claimant's representative would also be required to help the applicant submit all necessary evidence for the disability application. Feedback on these proposed changes can be sent to online, by fax or mail by April 21, 2014. See the proposed changes here:!documentDetail;D=SSA-2012-0068-0001
Name Change or Correction on Social Security Card
When an individual comes to an SSA office to verify their Social Security number, the name on their SSA record may not match the name they are currently using. SSA requires official documentation in order to make a change to the SSA record, even if the correction is minor. SSA produced a helpful flyer to identify which documents are needed:

Upcoming Center Events

SOAR Learning Community Calls
Please join us for upcoming SOAR Learning Community calls, held at 3:00-4:30pm EDT:
Tuesday, May 20: Funding & Sustainability - Register Here
Tuesday, July 22: Supporting Quality Applications - Register Here
SOAR Leadership Academies
Save the Dates! (Registration details to follow.) Please contact the SOAR TA Center or your State Team Lead if you are interested in attending one of the upcoming SOAR Leadership Academies:
May 6-8, 2014 in Baltimore, MD
June 3-5, 2014 in Portland, OR
September 10-12 in Pittsburgh, PA

The SOAR TA Center is sponsored by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Disclaimer: The SOAR Technical Assistance Center develops and distributes E-News 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.