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Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS)

Some people who receive Social Security Disability benefits do not want to live on those benefits for the rest of their lives. They hope, at some point, to be able to return to work. The problem is that many of these individuals fear that they will lose their Social Security Disability benefits if they do return to work and the situation doesn’t work out. Fortunately, the SSA has implemented the PASS (or Plan for Achieving Self Support program) for individuals who are in such a situation.

When an individual is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, those payments are based on the individual’s income and assets. The PASS program allows the disabled individual set aside money and assets to pay for items or services that are needed in order to achieve specific work goals.

When participating in the PASS program, the PASS applicant researches what they will need in order to reach a specific work goal. Things that may be needed include items like office supplies, school expenses, equipment, tools and a means of transportation. The applicant determines how much these things will cost and submits an application to PASS. The PASS program can then help an applicant save money to pay for these costs. The money can be put aside to make a down payment or installment payments for things like computers, cars and other work-related expenses. While the applicant is saving money under the PASS program, the money that is allowed is not counted towards the individual’s income or assets so it does not interfere with their eligibility to receive SSI benefits.

If a PASS application is not approved, the applicant does have the right to appeal the decision.