Elements of a Plan to Achieve Self-Support

A Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) must:

Be in writing

  • Preferred on form SSA-545.
  • Signed by the individual, and, if applicable, the representative payee.

Have income or resources to set aside:

  • You must have income other than SSI or resources that you can use to pay plan expenses.
  • You must receive SSI or qualify for SSI after setting aside income or resources so that you may pursue a work goal.
  • Attainment of your work goal must reduce or eliminate SSI or SSDI benefits.

State a work goal

  • Must be specific (e.g., carpenter, computer programmer).
  • Can be a Vocational assessment of your skills and abilities designed to help you select your work goal.
  • "Getting a degree" or "buying a car" are not acceptable goals.
  • Reasonable chance of achieving goal, considering strength and abilities.

Have a reasonable time frame

  • Must have projected beginning and ending dates.
  • Must have milestones indicating interval steps.
  • Last step must indicate how you will obtain your job.

Include expenses that are necessary to achieve the work goal.

  • Must have additional expenses other than everyday living expenses.
  • Expenses must be reasonably priced.
  • Major expenses (e.g., vehicle) can be paid through down payment and installment payments.
  • Expenses must be paid by the beneficiary with income other than SSI or with resources that are above the SSI resource limit. See Spotlight on Resources.
  • We may increase your SSI benefits after you set aside funds in your PASS, but no more than the maximum SSI payment amount.

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 the Ticket to Work Program; and review the Plan to Achieve Self-Support and Ticket to Work Guide.