SOAR January Webinar Series

SOAR January Webinar Series - Strengthening SOAR Applications Through Strong Collaborations
SOAR is more than just a training model. To be successful, SOAR programs must also focus on building strong relationships with SSA, DDS, the medical community and others.  SOAR providers who focus on such collaborations report more successful SOAR outcomes. 
Grab some hot chocolate, coffee, or a cup of tea, and join us for a series of three webinars to hear stories from SOAR communities, SSA and DDS specialists, and a medical provider on how they have improved SOAR applications by building relationships of mutual respect and trust in order to accomplish a great deal of hope for our SOAR applicants. You will also learn how to apply these best practices to creating or improving your SOAR Process which will result in the submission of quality SOAR applications!
This webinar series is recommended for SOAR State Leads, Local Leads, SOAR Providers and SOAR Practitioners who want to learn how strengthening collaborations among key partners with the SOAR Process will lead to the submission of stronger SOAR applications.   

Webinar I:  Case Development: The Ultimate DDS Experience!  
Thursday, January 19, 3:00-4:30pm (ET)
After SOAR providers submitted a sufficient number of quality SOAR applications, the DDS in Phoenix offered to dedicate staff to adjudicate SOAR claims.  Hear from DDS specialists and a SOAR Provider to learn more about how this arrangement has developed over time, and what you can do to replicate this relationship in your state.  Learn more about the importance of pro-active case development, and what DDS needs from us to effectively develop claims.
  • Loren Gallegly, LSW, SOAR Case Worker and Local Lead, Lodestar Day Resources, Phoenix, AZ
  • Jack Keene, Professional Relations Officer, DDS, Phoenix, AZ
  • Tracy Jordan, DDS Claims Adjudicator, Phoenix, AZ

Webinar II:  Medical Summary Reports: What is in that Co-Signed MSR?
Thursday, January 26, 3:00-4:30pm (ET)
Using the MSR, Montgomery's SOAR program has been able to document important and otherwise undocumented details of their SOAR Applicants' life experiences, particularly the trauma experienced during incarceration and in childhood, that compound their disabilities. Hear more about how they found providing the MSR to the consulting psychologists and doctors has helped these professionals more fully and accurately assess the applicants who are often reluctant to discuss their experiences.  Learn some MSR writing tips too!
  • Maria Morrison, MSW, MFA, Senior Social Worker, Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery, AL
  • Suzie Brady, SOAR Local Lead and SOAR Specialist, Austin Travis County Integral Care, Austin, TX

Webinar III: The SOAR Process:  How SSA in Trenton Supports Quality SOAR Applications
Monday, January 30, 3:00-4:30pm (ET)

A successful SOAR Process does not happen overnight.  The Trenton SOAR team learned early on that communication between SSA and SOAR providers is critical to growing and sustaining SOAR.  Hear how they maintain fidelity to the SOAR model by implementing a SOAR Process which is designed to be adjusted as needed based on workload issues and other feedback. Learn best practices for completing quality SOAR applications from both SOAR and SSA perspectives. 
  • Pam Heine, LSW, Senior Project Associate, SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center, Policy Research Associates, Inc., Delmar, NY
  • David Vinokurov, District Manager, Social Security Administration, Trenton, NJ
  • Diane Hirko, LSW, SOAR Coordinator, SOAR Case Manager and SOAR Local Lead, Family Guidance Center, Trenton, NJ
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 is sending this NewsFlash 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.

SSVF Program Update January 13, 2017

This is the Program Update from Friday. Please review.

-----Original Message-----
From: SSVF Program Office []
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 2:14 PM
Subject: [EXTERNAL] SSVF Program Update January 13, 2017


1.            Quarterly Certification Requirement:  Spending Limitations
2.            SSVF Participant Satisfaction Survey Update
3.            Reminder: 2017 PIT and HIC Summary for SSVF Grantees
4.            Reminder: Calendar of Events on SSVF Website
5.            Resource: Funding for Graduate Student Research Project-Applications Due 3/2/17
6.            Reminder: SSVF NOFA Applications Due February 3, 2017 at 4pm EST!

Quarterly Certification Requirement:  Spending Limitations

The SSVF Program Office would like to clarify the Expenditure and HHS Subaccount Drawdown section of the Quarterly Certification requirement form that is due on January 20, 2017.  The question asking grantees to certify that expenditures are within the spending limitations lists a minimum amount of anticipated spending.  We neglected to include the maximum allowable spending rates per quarter (Q1=35%, Q2=60%, Q3=80%), as stated in the NOFA.  This revision will be reflected in the quarter 2 requirement form. 

SSVF Participant Satisfaction Survey Update

As of January 3, 2017 Veterans have the option to complete a telephone phone survey if they do not have online access.   Any questions contact or call 215-790-8900.  You can also refer to the webinar for instructions on the SSVF website at

Reminder:  2017 PIT and HIC Summary for SSVF Grantees

The SSVF Program Office has prepared a summary of the Point-in-Time Count (PIT) and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) for SSVF grantees. The summary also includes information on the VA's national strategy for the PIT, as well as the following topics:

•             General Overview of the PIT and HIC
•             2017 VA PIT Strategy
•             HIC in More Detail
•             SSVF's Role in the HIC and PIT
•             Special notes on the HIC related to Co-enrollments and GPD TIP
•             What Happens with the Data
•             Expectations/Next Steps

SSVF grantees are expected to fully participate in both the PIT and HIC.  The 2017 PIT and HIC summary document is available on the SSVF Website at:

Reminder: Calendar of Events on SSVF Website

The SSVF Program Office has developed an Events Calendar, now available on the SSVF Website.  The calendar includes key dates for reporting deadlines, data uploading, program changes and webinars.  The Event Calendar may be accessed at the link below:

New: Funding for Graduate Student Research Project-Applications Due 3/2/17

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is granting graduate students $10,000 stipends to research work, rehabilitation and disability issues through the ARDRAW Small Grant Program.  The objective of the Analyzing Relationships between Disability, Rehabilitation and Work (ARDRAW) Small Grant Program is to foster new analysis of work, rehabilitation, and disability issues, which may develop innovative and fresh perspectives on disability by providing research stipends to a broad spectrum of graduate students. ARDRAW replaces the 5-year grant called the Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program, with a new focus on research relevant to SSA's work incentives and employment support - specifically rehabilitation, work and the disability program.

Applicants must be masters, doctoral, or post-doctoral-level part-time or full-time graduate students pursuing studies in accredited programs at the time of the award (Fall semester of 2017). Selected students will receive a stipend of $10,000 for the one-year program.

Informational Calls

Two informational conference calls will be held on January 31, 2017 at 3:30pm (ET) and February 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm (ET). Interested students and faculty mentors are invited to attend. We will provide a brief introduction to the program, review the elements of a successful application and answer any questions.

Register here:
January 31st:
February 8th:
View the Request for Applications (RFA):
Contact with any questions.

Reminder: SSVF NOFA Applications  Due February 3, 2017 at 4pm EST!

Thank you,

SSVF Program Office

NOTE:  If you are receiving this email in error, please disregard.  We request your patience as the SSVF Program Office continues to address system issues with the grants management database.

Adrienne Nash Melendez, MLD
Regional Coordinator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Please note new email address: