Many of the people who receive Social Security Disability benefits want to return to work. They don’t want their future to consist of relying on benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, some of these individuals need to reach certain goals before they can become self-sufficient. Sometimes that means obtaining an education or saving up enough money to start their own business. It is for people like this that the SSA’s PASS program was created.
PASS is an acronym for Plan for Achieving Self Support. Form 545 is the form that allows you to notify the SSA of your plan to achieve your future work-related goals. This form requires information such as you’re your work goals, your medical background, your vocational background, your educational background, how you plan to achieve your work goals and the expenses that are related to your plan.
When an individual is receiving SSI disability benefits, he or she is limited to the amount of assets that they can have in order to qualify for the SSI program. When that individual participates in the PASS program, however, the money that goes towards the expenses listed on Form 545 are not counted towards the individual’s assets. For example, if someone needs $5,000 to start their own business, that individual could have an approved Form 545 listing that expense and would be able to save that $5,000 up without the savings counting towards the individual’s asset limit to remain eligible for SSI benefits.
It is important to note that the individual must have Form 545 approved before they begin accumulating assets to put towards their work goals. Until the form is approved by the SSA, any assets accumulated by the SSI recipient will count towards the recipients asset limits in regards to SSI eligibility.