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

Table of Contents

What is SOAR?

SOAR is a program that helps disabled people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness apply for disability benefits. The goal of SOAR is to end homelessness by making it easier to get benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

How does SOAR work?

SOAR knows that the application process for SSI/SSDI benefits is really hard, especially for people with disabilities who are also homeless. SOAR trains caseworkers to help people apply successfully for SSI/SSDI on the first try and avoid lengthy appeals.

What is the success rate of applying with the help of a SOAR-trained case worker?

In North Carolina, 75% of applications prepared by a SOAR Caseworker were approved on the first application.  This is compared to a national approval rate of about 15% for SOAR-eligible individuals who applied without assistance.

Visit the SOAR FAQ page to learn more.

Who is eligible for SOAR?

You may be eligible for SOAR if you meet the following three criteria:

  1. You are homeless or at risk of homelessness; and
  2. You are disabled; and
  3. You are an adult.

An adult includes anyone 18 years of age or older as well as individuals who are within one month of their 18th birthday or children in the foster care system who are within three months of their 18th birthday.

SOAR is not for people who have stable housing. If you have questions about your eligibility, email soar@ncceh.org.

How do I get assistance through SOAR?

Below is a list of agencies who have SOAR-trained staff. Not every county has a SOAR caseworker, so please contact the SOAR program at If you have questions, call (919) 755-4393. if you cannot find a nearby caseworker.  if you cannot find a nearby caseworker.

County Agency Name Phone
Alexander A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Brunswick Coastal Disability Advocates 910-297-9131
Buncombe Pisgah Legal Services 828-407-4464
Buncombe Homeward Bound of Western NC 828-782-0016
Burke A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Caldwell A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Catawba Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry 828-327-0979
Catawba A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Cleveland Mental Health Association of Cleveland County 704-481-8637
Durham Duke Well 919-660-9355
Durham Durham VA Medical Center 919-451-9119
Durham Carolina Disability Advocates 919-286 9983
Durham Lincoln Community Health Center 919-808-5643
Durham Volunteers of America of the Carolinas 919-530-1100
Forsyth Bethesda Center for the Homeless 336-722-9951
Guilford The Servant Center 336-370-1501
Iredell A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Lincoln A Caring Alternative 828-624-0300
Mecklenburg Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services 980-314-1956
Mecklenburg Mecklenburg County Community Support Services 980-314-8928
Mecklenburg Supportive Housing Communities 704-335-9380
Mecklenburg Roof Above 704-334-3187
New Hanover Coastal Disability Advocates 910-297-9131
New Hanover Carolina Disability Advocates 919-286-9983
Orange Carolina Disability Advocates 919-286-9983
Orange UNC Healthcare Systems 984-974-0939
Pender Coastal Disability Advocates 910-297-9131
Pitt Pitt County Planning 252-902-3280
Wake Southlight Healthcare 919-787-6131
Wake WakeMed 919-436-0057

Who Funds SOAR?

SOAR is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Additional Information

In North Carolina, the Program is led by the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness (NCCEH).  NCCEH offers trainings and ongoing technical support for caseworkers as they make applications for SSI/SSDI benefits in a more effective and efficient manner. NCCEH also helps communities in NC educate key stakeholders about SSA benefits and create collaborations and systems change to expedite SSI/SSDI applications for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These caseworkers then go back to their agencies and out into their communities and help individuals apply for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), programs that provide monthly income benefits and healthcare benefits.

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