Can SSI recipients benefit from a Plan to Achieve Self Support?

Some recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may one day desire to go back to work to earn a living on their own. Perhaps, they are young adults, who have been disabled since childhood and wish to live and work independently. Or, they may be older adults, who have not been able to ever work due to a disability, but whose medical condition has improved to the point that they may wish to become self-sufficient. These individuals, regardless of where they live in the U.S., may be interested in learning more about the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).

SSI benefits are based on a recipient’s income and resources. PASS allows an individual to set aside income and property he or she has to pay for the help they need to get back to work, such as training or equipment, while still meeting the SSI income requirements. This includes transportation costs, uniforms, the supplies necessary to set up a business, tuition, aids, such as a wheelchair, computers, tools and other pieces of work equipment or whatever else the recipient needs to go back to work.

While this post will not delve into the specifics of how a PASS is set up, in general, the applicant will determine what they need to meet their work goals, and how much money they need to pay for the items and services they need. PASS then helps those with disabilities save to pay for these needs by setting aside money, making a down payment or making installment payments.

There are certain forms that need to be completed and sent to the SSA for approval to set up a PASS and work with a PASS specialist. Therefore, individuals interested in the PASS program may want to work alongside an attorney when setting up their PASS, so all the legal formalities are met, increasing their chance for success.