PASS programIf you are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you may want to return to work, but what if you need to go back to school before you could get a job or you would like to start a new business? The Social Security Administration has developed PASS, a plan for achieving self-support, to help you meet your new goals.
Keep in mind while you are developing your plan that the Social Security Administration expects that you plan would allow you to earn enough new income that you could eliminate the disability benefits you are receiving under Supplemental Security Income (SSI). PASS provides the services, skills and tools you need to meet your goals.
What are the benefits of the PASS program?
Claimants who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who decide to return to work generally have their SSI benefits reduced. One benefit of the PASS program is that if your plan is approved you could avoid the SSI benefits reduction and instead use that income to reach your new work goals.
Although you will not be eligible to receive more than the allowable federal benefit rate for SSI, the Social Security Administration will not count the money you receive as income and will allow you to set aside that income for PASS when they are determining your SSI payment amount each month.
Additionally, the resources that you generate under your approved plan, which you use to reach your new PASS goals, do not count against the resource limits established under the Supplemental Security Income program.
What types of expenses can be included in my PASS plan?
There are a variety of expenses which can be approved under the PASS plan: child care, job coaching, resume preparation, transportation costs to work, tuition and supplies for school or attendant care expenses.
How do I create my PASS plan?
Claimants who are interested in creating a PASS plan must contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and complete an application form. The plan must be made in writing. You also must:
- Identify your work goals. The Social Security Administration also vocational counselors who can assist with identifying your goals or your plan can include the costs of additional vocational assistance.
- Identify the time to complete your goals.
- Identify the type of training you need to complete your goals (i.e. if you are going to be a teacher you will need to attend college).
- Identify the cost of the equipment you need to reach your goal. The SSA expects several costs estimates from vendors.
- Identify the amount of money you will need each month to complete your plan. SSI may increase your Supplemental Security Income benefit to cover some of the costs, but it cannot raise payments above the federal benefit rate.
- If you are going to start a business you will need a detailed business plan.
All funds for your PASS must be kept separate from other monies. Additionally, you will need to sign, date and mail the appropriate forms back to the SSA. When the Social Security Administration receives your PASS plan they will make sure it is complete, determine if it is achievable, make sure it is reasonably priced and identify if there needs to be any updates. Denial and acceptance notifications will be sent to you by mail
- Supplemental Security income- Common Questions Part II (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Supplemental Security Income - Most Common Questions Part I (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSI and Medicaid Benefits (disabilitybenefitshome.com)