The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) program has helped thousands of Ohioans access the disability benefits they need to help maintain their housing, health, and financial stability. Nationally, Ohio’s program stands out as first in the nation for applications submitted and a close second for approvals granted.

Since Ohio began reporting SOAR data nine years ago, there have been 5,148 decisions with 2,598 individuals approved for SSI/SSDI benefits. SOAR in Ohio has had the capacity to deliver over 100 approvals annually for the past three years.

The team in Ohio has also helped clients receive results much faster than the national average. Ohio’s average days to a decision is 82, compared to a national average of 101 days.

The speed and reach of the SOAR program in Ohio is substantial. From July 2016 to March 2017, communities across Ohio have seen the impact of $1.8 million in financial support and medical coverage for clients approved through the SOAR program.

The focus continues to be on improving service for clients. Amy Lamerson, SSI Ohio Program Coordinator and SOAR State Lead with COHHIO, says the program is looking to improve its approval rate to match the national average of 65 percent. Over nine months, the program has already increased its approval rate four points to 54 percent.

“I would like to see the SOAR Ohio program be able to secure funding for 2019 in the near future and be able to continue the amazing work this program affords to those individuals with some of the highest needs,” Lamerson said. “COHHIO and the SSI Ohio Program continue to advocate for SOAR Ohio and a sustainable funding stream for the program.”

To find out more about SOAR Ohio, email Amy or call her at: 614-280-1984 x.128.