Letters to the Editor (March 2014)

SOAR helps homeless vets regardless of discharge type.

I am writing in response to Esther Grace Gilbert’s letter to the editor in the January 2014 issue of NASW News.

A national program called SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) can assist veterans, including those with less than honorable discharges who have disabilities, to access expedited Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security does not consider type of military discharge in its eligibility for such benefits; the issue is income and disability. SOAR is a program that focuses on adults (including veterans) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who have mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders to access Social Security Administration disability benefits.

As the founder of this national program, I encourage social workers in all 50 states who work with veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to check the SOAR website and contact the state SOAR leads for possible assistance.

The website is SAMHSA.

Yvonne M. Perret, MA, MSW, LCSW
Cumberland, Md.