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June 2015Vol. 16, No. 5Using SOAR With Transition-Age Youth

In March 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SOAR Technical Assistance (TA) Center hosted a webinar on increasing access to Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), among transition-age youth in foster care. Studies indicate that this youth population has higher rates of disability than their peers and, as a result, experience homelessness or are at a much greater risk of homelessness upon leaving care. Transition-age youth may also lack the knowledge and skills needed to understand and apply for SSA benefits. To address this need, the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) model was created to help increase access to and approval rates for SSA benefits for transition-age youth at risk for or experiencing homelessness.

The webinar features presentations by a diverse group of SOAR providers and experts who have been successful in helping youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness access SSA benefits. A new issue brief is introduced and explores transition-age youth homelessness, SSA benefits, and SOAR's intensive engagement process and holistic approach to applying for SSI and SSDI benefits. The webinar and related materials, including the issue brief, are available on the TA Center website.

Access the webinar and presentation at

Access the issue brief Ending Youth Homelessness: Using SOAR to Increase Access to SSA Disability Benefits for Transition Age Youth, by A. Lemon, at (422 KB).