Every January starts with hope. Hope your program will succeed, hope that clients will be successful. In January 2020, Ms. T was a client in a residential program at WARM through SMA Healthcare in Flagler County. This program provides substance abuse counseling and intensive support to help women move away from addiction and toward the future. I met Ms. T at the WARM facility in Flagler. She was clearly a strong woman with a very kind manner. I took her SSDI and SSI applications thorough the SOAR program and cautioned her that the hardest part would be staying with her application after she left the care of the WARM program.
In mid-February, Ms. T left WARM and moved in with a family friend in Palm Coast. It was not an ideal situation. The “friend” was verbally abusive and caused Ms. T to suffer from anxiety and stress. We agreed to exchange documents via the mailbox. I would leave brightly colored envelopes of forms and documents; she would text me when she had completed them.
She attended medically assisted treatment and group therapies with SMA. She never wavered from participating in her case. By April 10th, her file, with all its medical records was filed at Social Security. The SOAR model is uniquely designed to support the fastest decision track for all clients.
On August 24, 2020, Ms. T was awarded Social Security benefits as well as Medicaid. She received $5461 in back pay and $783 per month for as long as her conditions remain disabling. Her benefits came with one caveat. She would need a representative payee. Many times, when someone has a mental health condition that may affect judgement, SSA will require a payee. Ms. T was amiable to this arrangement but had no one in her life that could be trusted to handle her funds and meet her needs.
Flagler Cares had previously worked with SMA Healthcare to provide a representative payee for a mutual client in the PATH program in Volusia County. Ms. T. would pose a challenge as she was not enrolled in those services and was living in Flagler County. After some searching for the right program fit, SMA Healthcare stepped up and provided an experienced representative payee. On September 14, less than 3 weeks since she was awarded benefits, Ms. T and the payee met with Social Security by phone to seal the deal. SMA’s quick attention to the needs of the client meant she got her benefits as soon as possible. She had started at SMA Healthcare and she had ended there. The perfect outcome for a Flagler County resident in need of income, support, and ongoing services.