SOAR Across Michigan is Making a Difference
SSI Outreach Access and Recovery (SOAR):
SSI/SSDI (Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance) Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) is a system that helps the homeless successfully apply for SSI/SSDI for the first time.
SOAR encourages collaboration among human service agencies to improve access to SSI/SSDI by facilitating strategic planning at the state and local levels. This Train-the-Trainer program has been used to improve and build the frontline staff that provides assistance with SSA disability applications to people who are homeless. SOAR is implemented through local human service agencies, such as shelters, Community Mental Health, Department of Human Services, community action agencies, and other nonprofit agencies.
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) hosted a SOAR Celebration Conference on November 1, 2012. Among the central topics of the event were program outcomes and overcoming challenges.
Highlights of the event included:
- “What It’s All About” presented by Tamika Davis-Moore and Terrence Graham. Ms. Davis-Moore is a SOAR trainee who assisted her client, Mr. Graham from homelessness to housed and in the process, assisted him with a SOAR application and got his benefits approved…a real success story!
- Patricia Wolschon, Director of Homeless Programming at the Veteran’s Administration gave a presentation on VA Disability Benefits discussing collaboration between SOAR and the VA and assistance to Veterans.
- Yvonne Perret of the Advocacy and Training Center in Maryland presented Writing a “Knock-Out” Medical Summary, which included a lively discussion amongst participants.
- The event also recognized the efforts of regions, agencies, and individuals in getting approvals. John Loring of Washtenaw County Community Support and Treatment Services, Region 7, received the 2012 Monica Bellamy Exceptional Leadership Award.
- Berrien County Emergency Shelter Services, Benton Harbor, Region 6, received the 2012 Most Improved Teamwork Award. Congratulations to these award-winners and the many other committed partners of SOAR who make the program a reality!
In the five years that SOAR has operated in Michigan, over 1,758 people have been trained to complete applications and, at latest count, there were over 2870 applications completed, with a combined success rate of 66% on first time applications and appeals. To view the full Michigan SOAR Report, which contains regional data, download the report below.
For more information about SOAR Across Michigan, please contact Tara Truax, Michigan SOAR Coordinator at TruaxT1@michigan.gov or visit www.prainc.com/soar
SOAR Monthly Newsletters
Michigan Annual SOAR Report: October 2011