Report Shows SOAR Improves SSI/SSDI Access

More data needed to measure the effectiveness

Does CoC Participation in SOAR Training Improve SSI/SSDI EnrollmentIn 2009, 21% of adults exiting shelter in New Jersey were receiving SSI or SSDI benefits. This was slightly above the national average of 22%.

The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) initiative improves homeless persons’ access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

A new report from the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, “Does CoC Participation in SOAR Training Improve SSI/SSDI Enrollment,” examines the effect that participation in SOAR training alone has on SSI and SSDI enrollment among homeless adults and highlights how crucial SOAR implementation is after the initial training period.

Click here to download the brief.

The report states:

SOAR aims to help states and localities make SSA disability benefits more accessible to homeless persons. Currently, HUD requires communities to only report if they have received SOAR training (and provide dates of completion) on annual CoC applications for funding. However, CoC participation in SOAR training alone is not an accurate indicator of SSI or SSDI enrollment. HUD should require CoCs to focus on SOAR implementation and report relevant outcome data to measure the initiative’s effectiveness. Additionally, little information is known on the number of homeless families receiving SSI and SSDI. Separate statistics on homeless parents and children accessing benefits should also be mandated.

The National Survey of Programs and Services for Homeless Families is an online resource for service providers, advocates, researchers, and public policy makers. The Web site provides a state-by-state snapshot of the interconnections between governmental and nonprofit work to end family homelessness. Click here to visit the National Survey of Programs and Services for Families web site for additional information.