HONESDALE — The Wayne County Area Agency on Aging recently launched a program to assist disabled individuals who have been unable to apply or receive approval for, Social Security benefits and are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. The program is called SOAR which stands for SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access & Recovery.
Often times, people are homeless due to mental or physical illnesses, making it difficult to get or keep a job, or in the case of minors, to attend school. Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income is designed to give a steady source of income for those who are unable to work.
For people who may not have access to a (reliable) telephone and/or do not have a place to receive mail, it is nearly impossible to successfully complete the forms and provide necessary documentation of their disability to Social Security.
SOAR counselors can help individuals complete the applications for SSDI/SSI benefits, and help gather the much-needed medical documentation to prove their disability.
In addition, they can write a personal statement (called a Medical Summary Report or MSR) to explain to the Social Security Review Team how the disability is affecting the applicant’s ability to function in society.
For those who may not have a reliable mailing address or consistent phone service, SOAR counselors can serve as a point of contact between the applicant and the Social Security Administration.
SOAR counselors do not charge a fee, and the applications they submit to Social Security are earmarked as “SOAR” and are given a higher priority, approved faster, with a greater success rate.
Vicki Wargo at the Honesdale Senior Center is available to assist individuals who are disabled and at risk of homelessness work through the application process. For more information, call Vicki at 570-253-4262 during regular business hours.