Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

This page provides general information on the Plan to Achieve Self-Support or PASS. For more information, select Links About PASS.

What is a PASS?

  • It is an SSI provision to help individuals with disabilities return to work.
  • If you receive SSI or could qualify for SSI after setting aside income or resources so you can pursue a work goal, you could benefit from a PASS.

How does a PASS help someone return to work?

  • We base SSI eligibility and payment amounts on income and resources (things of value that the individual owns).
  • PASS lets a disabled individual set aside money and things he or she owns to pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific work goal.
  • The objective of the PASS is to help disabled individuals find employment that reduces or eliminates SSI or SSDI benefits.

How does PASS work?

  • The applicant finds out what training, items, or services they need to reach a work goal.
  • A PASS can include supplies to start a business, school expenses, equipment and tools, transportation, uniforms and other items or services you need to reach your employment goal.
  • The applicant finds out how much these items and services will cost.
  • PASS can help the participant save to pay these costs. PASS lets persons with disabling conditions set aside money for purchases, installment payments and down payments for things like a vehicle, wheelchair, or a computer if needed to reach their work goal.

How do you set up a PASS?

  • Decide on your work goal and determine the items and services necessary to achieve your work goal.
  • You can get help in setting up plan from a vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor; an organization that helps people with disabilities; Benefits Specialists or Protection and Advocacy organizations who have contracts with us; Employment Networks involved in the Ticket to Work program; your local Social Security office; or anyone else willing to help him or her.
  • Contact local SSA office; SSA work site or third parties shown above to get a PASS form (SSA-545-BK) to complete.
  • Bring or mail it to the Social Security office.
  • We usually approves plans prepared by VR.
  • If your goal is self-employment, you must also submit a business plan.

What happens to the PASS?

  • We send the PASS to agency employees who we have trained to work with PASS.
  • A PASS expert works directly with the applicant. The PASS expert looks over the plan to see if the work goal is reasonable.
  • We review the plan to make sure that the applicant needs the items and services listed on the PASS to achieve his or her work goal and that the items are reasonably priced.
  • If the plan needs changes, the PASS expert discusses the changes with the applicant.
  • If we do not approve the PASS, the applicant can appeal the decision.

For more information and examples of how you can use a PASS please visit the Red Book.

The Ticket to Work Program and PASS can provide dual assistance in your return to work efforts.  Learn more about Ticket to Work; and review the Plan to Achieve Self-Support and Ticket to Work Guide.