Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)
American Indian Disability Technical Assistance Center
The Social Security Administration assists American Indians and Alaska Natives with disabilities achieve work goals through the Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). PASS provides a way for those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to set aside money to achieve work goals that will reduce or eliminate their need for these cash benefits.
This fact sheet explains what a PASS is and how the program works.
What is a PASS?
A PASS allows an individual who has a disability, or is blind, to set aside countable income and/or resources for a specific time to achieve a work goal.
Any person with a disability or blindness who receives SSI benefits, or receives SSDI benefits and can qualify for SSI, may have a PASS.
What are the basic requirements?
A PASS must be specifically designed for an individual, have a specific work goal the individual is capable of performing, a time frame for achieving the work goal. The plan must show what money and other resources will be used to reach the goal. These can include unearned income, earned income, or both. The plan must also illustrate how money and resources will be used, and explain how these will be set aside and kept separate from other funds. The plan must be approved by the Social Security Administration and periodically reviewed to assure compliance.
What is a work goal?
A work goal is a job that an individual wants or seeks to maintain. The goal can also be self-employment. The Social Security Administration requires that a work goal be certified as feasible for an individual. This is usually determined by a vocational rehabilitation counselor or someone with CRC certification.
What does income and resources mean?
Earned income means wages or earnings from self employment and certain royalties and honoraria. Unearned income means income such as Social Security benefits, pensions, State disability payments, unemployment benefits, interest income, etc.In Kind Income means food, clothing, or shelter that is received for free or less than fair market value. Deemed Income means income received by a spouse, parent(s) with whom you live, or your sponsor (if you are an alien) that is used compute SSI payments. Resources means thing you own such as cash, bank account(s), stocks, U.S. Savings Bonds, land, life insurance, personal property, automobile(s), and deemed resources. These are a portion of the resources of a spouse, parent, or sponsor of an alien determined to belong to an individual who files for SSI.
How do I apply for a PASS?
Individuals must complete a PASS application Form SSA-545-BK that is available from the local Social Security office or online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-545.html . A PASS can be written by the individual and with assistance from anyone; for example, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, relative or friend. In some cases vocational rehabilitation services may pay for this assistance.
Where can I go for more information?
On the Internet, many questions about PASS can be answered by visiting the Social Security Administration website at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11017.html#1 . Additional information about PASS is provided by the University of Montana Rural Institute, Adult Community Services and Support publications website at http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/training/publications.asp.
Shelly, R., Katz, M., & Hammis, D. (2003). It Doesn't Take A Rocket Scientist To Understand & Use Social Security Work Incentives. (Available from The University of Montana Rural Institute, Adult Community and Supports/Training Department, 52 Corbin Hall, Missoula, MT 59812).
Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Spotlight on Plans to Achieve Self-Support. Retrieved August 11, 2004 from http://www.ssa.gov/notices/supplemental-security-income/spotlights/spot-plans-self-support.htm.
Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Working While Disabled. Retrieved August 11, 2004 from http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11017.html.
This fact sheet is supported by a cooperative agreement (#H235K00002) with the U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration.
This fact sheet was developed by Alan P. Fugleberg