North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Resources for SOAR Caseworkers

The resources below are for trained SOAR caseworkers in North Carolina. If you have questions about any of these resources, please email Emily Carmody.

NC SOAR Caseworker Dialogue Group

Are you a trained SOAR caseworker?  If so, join the NC SOAR Dialogue Group!  You'll get new information on the SOAR process and SSA during monthly conference calls with other SOAR-trained caseworkers in North Carolina.  For instructions on how to join, please visit our Dialogue Groups webpage.
 
 

NC SOAR Caseworker Password-Protected Webpage

We have created a webpage with information that is only available to SOAR caseworkers who have attended a two-day training.  If you are a trained SOAR caseworker and would like to access these pages, please email us with the subject line "Access SOAR Webpages."  (Once you have received your password, you can view the pages after logging in to the site.)
 
 

Medical Summary Report Scorecard

Do you find yourself wondering what information you should include in your Medical Summary Reports for DDS? NC SOAR now has a Medical Summary Report Scorecard that can help you review your reports before sending them to DDS. The scorecard will be used to evaluate Medical Summary Reports submitted for NC SOAR Caseworker Certification (see below), but you can use it to review your own Medical Summary Reports, evaluate their strength, and determine how closely they follow the SOAR model.
 
 

SOAR for Pending Cases and Appeals

SOAR caseworkers can be effective advocates for individuals who have already submitted an application for SSI/SSDI benefits or have recently had an application for benefits denied. To find out more about how a SOAR caseworker can assist applicants with pending cases or appeals, check out these resources:

  • SOAR Representation for Appeals: This issue brief from the national SOAR program takes an in-depth look at the appeals process and how SOAR caseworkers can advocate at each level. 

Outreach Tool for Physicians

NC SOAR caseworkers wear many hats in the community! One very important role is to educate physicians about the SSI/SSDI process and work with them to complete SOAR Medical Summary Reports. However, many myths about SSI/SSDI still exist in the community and the medical field. NC SOAR now has a document to help outreach to physicians in the community! Please use this document to explain the SSI/SSDI process, the physician's role in the process, and how SOAR applications are different than business as usual. 
 
 

HIPAA Compliance Questions

Just like the SSI/SSDI process, many myths surround HIPAA regulations. SOAR caseworkers often encounter these myths while gathering medical records from previous treatment providers to strengthen SSI/SSDI applications.
 
If you submit both your agency's Release of Information and the SSA-827 release to a medical records department, you are able to receive records and pass them on to SSA and DDS. This is called a "Compound Authorization" under HIPAA regulations and can be found in Title 45 Part 164 Section 164.508. 
 
For more answers to frequently asked questions about HIPAA, check out this HIPAA FAQ from the national SOAR program.
 
 

Changes to SSA Policy for Justice-Involved Applicants

Policy Research Associates has released a summary of the changes to SSA policy for individuals who are involved in the justice system. Applicants with open probation or parole violations will no longer have benefits suspended or applications denied based on these charges. Anyone who had benefits suspended or denied, or who entered an overpayment status with SSA due to a probation or parole violation after October 24, 2006, needs to contact their local SSA office because they may be eligible for retroactive benefits!
 
Applicants may still have benefits suspended or denied if they have an open felony warrant for Flight, Escape, or Flight-Escape. If you have specific questions about how an applicant's legal involvement will effect their case, please contact Emily Carmody or your local SSA office.
 
 

NC SOAR Medical Records Database

In order to help NC SOAR caseworkers find medical records for their applicants, we have created a Medical Records Database of current contact information for medical records departments of clinics and hospitals in NC and other states. The Medical Records Database also includes contact information for NC LME/MCOs that manage mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disorder services for their designated counties. If you have information that you would like to be added to the list, please contact Emily Carmody.
 

NC SOAR Caseworker Certification

NCCEH is interested in working with SOAR caseworkers to develop their skills and to provide them with the recognition they deserve for helping their clients access benefits using the SOAR model. Individuals who complete the NC SOAR Caseworker Certification process will receive documentation that they are SOAR certified and will be added to the state list of SOAR caseworkers. (Please note that attending to two-day SOAR Caseworker training does not mean you are a Certified NC SOAR Caseworker.)

  • Every Medical Summary Report that is submitted for certification will be evaluated using the Medical Summary Report Scorecard. Caseworkers will be provided a copy of the completed scorecard for each report, and NCCEH will review scores with caseworkers. 

SOAR Referral and Screening Tools

With limited time and resources, it is important that SOAR caseworkers focus their efforts on helping those who are most clearly and obviously disabled.  These "who to help" decisions can often be difficult. Use these referral and screening tools to assess client disability and the likelihood of benefits acquisition:


NCCEH Forms

Have you completed a disability application or are you in the process? Let us know!

Everything you'll need to complete one application with a client, all in one place:

SSA & DDS Forms, Applications and Important Information

 

 Worksheets from the Training Manual

 Form
Download
 Applicant Tracking Worksheet word doc
 Applicant Assessment Worksheet word doc
 Functional Information Worksheet word doc
 Medical Evidence Worksheet word doc
 Medical Information for SSI/SSDI word doc
 Medical Summary Report Worksheet word doc
 SSI Benefits and Work Worksheet word doc
 SSI & SSDI Non-Medical Documentation Checklist word doc
 Substance Use Worksheet word doc