A Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants in Permanent Supportive Housing. 2.3. Helping Establish Supplemental Security Income


SSI beneficiaries are categorically eligible for Medicaid--although in some states they still have to go through the Medicaid application process separately after qualifying for SSI. In recent years, the SAMHSA has encouraged states and communities to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to enroll people with qualifying disabilities and levels of functional impairment into SSI through its SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program.27 In addition, some communities desiring to increase Medicaid eligibility for people experiencing chronic homelessness have independently developed mechanisms for helping people qualify for SSI on the basis of their disabilities.28 The text box gives one example.

In Chicago, Heartland Health Outreach (HHO) has long maintained a team devoted to helping clients establish eligibility for an array of benefits, including SSI. To document disability, team members have access to HHO's own records and have cooperative relationships with some of the hospitals its clients use that facilitate further documentation. The team has good relationships with a U.S. Social Security Administration office and partners with Health and Disability Advocates for situations that require specialized assistance. Team members have recently become SOAR trainers and offer training and technical assistance to caseworkers in other agencies who have SSI-eligible clients.


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