Social Security Advocacy

Do you need help applying for disability benefits?

Applying for federal Social Security disability benefits can be a challenge. Our advocates are available to help you navigate the application process and receive the benefits for which you are eligible through SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery).

What is SOAR?

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a nationwide program designed to help people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless and have a disability that is expected to last one year or more, apply for Social Security disability benefits.

SOAR seeks to end homelessness through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income.

How We Can Help

Through KOOTASCA’S SOAR Program, certified navigators are able to help individuals confidentially navigate the application process of filing for Social Security Disability. The navigators will collect records, fill out all forms, write all necessary reports, and submit your initial application.  If a denial is received our navigators are able to gather more evidence and submit a reconsideration request for the client. If the case goes into the appeal process or before an Administrative Law Judge our navigators can give  referrals to the agencies who are able to help with this part of the process.

SSI/SSDI?

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide financial assistance to people with disabilities. Only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

Eligibility Criteria

SOAR is a service to help individuals apply for or maintain Social Security disability benefits if they are both: (1) homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and (2) have a disability.

  1. Be currently homeless, at-risk of homelessness, or living in permanent supportive housing, according to the following definitions:
    • Homeless: An individual who is living outdoors, on the street, in an abandoned or condemned building, or in a shelter that provides temporary living accommodations; or
    • At-Risk of Homelessness: An individual who: is in a doubled-up living arrangement where the individual’s name is not on the lease, is in a boarding house, received an eviction notice, is in a halfway house, is in a residential treatment program, has rent or utilities in arrears, is in transitional housing, is a youth transitioning out of foster care, or is being discharged from an institution or correctional facility without a place to live; or
    •  Permanent supportive housing: Living in supportive housing that is designated for individuals who have experienced homelessness; andCurrently homeless, at-risk of becoming homeless, or living in permanent supportive housing.
  2. Must have a physical or mental health impairment that is documented and expected to last more than a year or is likely to result in death; and have significant functional impairments that affect their ability to do substantial work activities; and
  3. Are under the age of 65; and
  4. Live in Minnesota