A Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) allows an SSI beneficiary to set aside income and/or resources for a specified period of time, and for a realistic work goal.

The plan must:

  • Be in writing
  • Have a specific work goal that the person is capable of performing
  • Have a specific time frame for reaching the goal
  • Show what money and other resources received will be used to reach the goal
  • Show how the money and resources will be used
  • Show how the money set aside will be kept identifiable from other funds

The income and resources set aside in the PASS will not affect SSI eligibility. This can allow a beneficiary to continue receiving their full benefit while saving toward their vocational goal. It also allows a beneficiary to save money over the SSI resource limit.

What types of goals can a PASS be used toward?

PASS is a flexible program that allows the applicant to choose their goal. Some examples of PASS goals include:

  • Paying for tuition
  • Paying for job coaching
  • Paying for a vehicle or transportation costs
  • Paying for a computer

A PASS plan can be used for purchasing equipment or paying startup costs for a small business. PASS plans that involve self-employment require a business plan with the application.

What is the approval and review process for PASS?

The application for a PASS Plan must be made in writing. Social Security prefers that their PASS Form (SS-545-BK) be used.

The plan will be reviewed by the Social Security PASS Cadre, a group of experts that specialize in PASS Plans. If the reviewer thinks the goal or savings schedule is not realistic, they will contact the applicant to discuss making changes.

Progress toward completing the plan will be reviewed periodically by the PASS Cadre.

The website PASSonline.org can assist with writing a PASS application.

Can PASS be used by an SSDI beneficiary?

Even though the PASS is an SSI work incentive, if you are receiving SSDI cash benefits, you can still become eligible for the PASS.

This is accomplished by placing the SSDI cash payment into the PASS account. Because the income in the PASS account is not counted, the beneficiary is able to apply for SSI benefits.

The beneficiary must live on the income from SSI and continue to meet all other SSI Eligibility requirements.