Approval rates for first-time applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) among adults who are homeless can be as low as 10%. This study examined approval rates among applicants who were assisted by SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR), a federal initiative to increase access to disability benefits among people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who have mental illness or other co-occurring disorders.
Data were collected in 37 states that had participated in SOAR for at least one year.
Of 8,978 applications assisted by SOAR, 6,558 (73%) were approved. The average number of days between application and decision was 91. SOAR was associated with increased access to housing and cost savings through increased Medicaid reimbursement.
SOAR substantially increased access to SSI and SSDI entitlements for people with disabilities who experience or are at risk for homelessness. (Psychiatric Services 62:1373–1376, 2011)