The SOAR case manager at GHCCM has received special training to complete and submit a thorough SSI/SSDI application packet. Clients may be referred from Partners Behavioral Health or can request an appointment with the SOAR Case Manager on site. After an initial screening that includes a face to face discussion with the client, the Case Manager will determine whether the client is eligible for SOAR services. Once accepted into the program the Case Manager asks that clients keep in contact with him/her at least weekly in case additional information is needed for the SSI/SSDI application. Clients complete multiple forms including requests for medical records which are used to complete the application and create a medical history summary.
SSI/SSDI OUTREACH, ACCESS AND RECOVERY
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are disability income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to eligible individuals. The application process for SSI/SSDI is complicated and difficult to navigate. Nationally, about 28% of individuals who apply for these benefits are approved on the initial application and appeals take an average of 1 year to complete.
For people who are homeless, or returning to the community from institution (jail, prisons, or hospitals) access to these programs can be extremely challenging. Approval on initial applications for people who are homeless or have no one to assist them is about 10-15%. For those who have a mental health or substance use disorder that impair understanding, the application process is even more difficult- yet these benefits are often a crucial first step in recovery.
A SOAR trained case manager submits complete and quality applications that are approved quickly. In 2016, the approval rate on initial SOAR applications averaged 67% in an average of 101 days from the date of the application submission to the date of decision.
The SOAR program is designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adults who are experience or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance sue disorder. Priority is given to those clients from Catawba County.