Social Security Application Assistance for People Experiencing Homelessness

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR)

For people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and have a severe and persistent mental health illness, access to SSI and/or SSDI can be extremely challenging. For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process is even more difficult, yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery. For those eligible for SOAR, we may be able to help. See eligibility requirements and contact information below.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are disability income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to individuals who are eligible.

SOAR eligibility

SOAR is designed to help adults who can apply for disability benefits under SSA rules. To be eligible for SOAR you must meet the guidelines below:

  • Homeless or at risk of homelessness as defined as: Lacking the resources on hand to attain or maintain housing stability
  • Serious mental illness or exhibits symptoms and/or has serious physical illnesses that affect his/her ability to work at a substantial gainful level ($1,180/month in 2018)
  • The illness(es) or condition(s) have lasted or are expected to last for at least 12 months (or result in death)
  • Individual is exhibiting symptoms of mental illness or has periods with worsening of symptoms that prevents sustainable employment
  • For applicants with mental illness, he/she has marked restrictions in at least two functional areas
  • 18 years of age or older (as well as individuals who are within one month of their 18th birthday or within 180 days for youth who are aging out of the foster care system).
  • 65 years of age or older who are eligible for SSI
SOAR contact information

Idaho SOAR Contacts

The national SOAR website contains contacts for different regions across the state of Idaho. Note that this is a federal website. Contacts for the state of Idaho do not all work for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

If you are unable to find a provider in your area and need help locating one, please email the SOAR contacts.  

Include your name, area you currently live in, and any other information you feel would help find a SOAR case manager near you. Note that SOAR is a voluntary program and may not be available in your area.

For more information on requirements and benefits, review the Federal Social Security Online Application.