“It felt empowering”: Giving feedback on SOAR
For many years now, Bread for the City has been using the SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, and Recovery) method — a process that helps low-income individuals apply for and receive social security benefits. Ashley Moore, our Associate Director of Care Management, has led the city-wide effort to better utilize this practice. As a result, she was invited to attend a January roundtable with the Social Security Advisory Board — a testament to the influence of our work in SOAR, and Ashley’s leadership.
At the roundtable, Ashley provided feedback on SOAR’s ability to help those with complex struggles access needed benefits, but she was also able to address specific problems with the SSI/SSDI application process, such as the inability to attach supplemental information to the online system. It sounds small, but micro-issues like that can deter or prevent people from receiving income supports when they really need them, and can increase suffering as a result.
Ashley says, “I was honored to be a guest at the January roundtable of the Social Security Advisory Board. I had the opportunity to represent Bread for the City, the DC SOAR community, and most importantly, the many clients we have helped with the Social Security disability process. It felt empowering to be able to share the struggles that claimants have with the process with influencers and decision-makers who could implement needed changes. In the grind of the work, it is easy to feel that no one notices or cares. It was a relief to meet people who genuinely want to improve the application process for the people we help at Bread for the City every day.”
We’re grateful for the Social Security Advisory Board’s invitation to attend the roundtable, their participation as a thought partner in SOAR work, and their openness to feedback.
We’ve blogged about SOAR before! Want to learn more? Keep your eyes on this space (subscribe here!) and go back in time to read “A Day in the Life of a Social Worker” and “SOAR: A Solution to the Wait”.