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2008 Edition
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Understanding Supplemental Security Income
SSI Spotlight on Plans to Achieve Self–Support
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What is a Plan to Achieve Self–Support (PASS)?

A PASS is a tool that a person with a disability or blindnessdisability or blindness uses to set aside incomeincome or resourcesresources to reach a work goal.

For example, a person could set aside money for an educational or training program or to start a business.


Who may have a PASS?

You may have a PASS if you receive or are eligible for SSI benefits and have incomeincome or resourcesresources, other than those needed for living expenses, which can be set aside to pay for items or services needed to reach your work goal.

How does a PASS affect my SSI benefit?

Money that you save under an approved PASS will not count against your resource limit of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

We do not count incomeincome that is set aside under an approved PASS when we decide how much SSI a person receives. This means that a person who sets aside incomeincome under a plan may receive a higher SSI benefit than if he or she did not have a plan. A PASS will not increase your SSI benefit if you already receive the full SSI benefit amount.

This also may mean that a person who would not otherwise be eligible for SSI benefits can set aside incomeincome and resourcesresources under an approved plan to become eligible for SSI benefits.

What are the minimum requirements for a PASS?

A PASS must:

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    be in writing and be approved by us;
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    have a specific work goal which you can probably reach;
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    say how long it will take for you to reach the goal;
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    say what incomeincome or resourcesresources you will set aside and how it will be spent;
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    explain how you will keep the incomeincome or resourcesresources set aside separate from other money you have; and
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    describe any goods and services you will need to reach the goal and explain why you will need them.

How do I set up a PASS?

Anybody may help you write a plan including a vocational counselor or a relative. We can also help you with a PASS or refer you to someone who can help you write a plan.

You can get a copy of the PASS application Form SSA–545–BK from your local Social Security office or onlineonline at:

We also have contracts with different organizations to assist disabled beneficiaries who want to work. For more information, go to The Work SiteThe Work Site at:

Are there any other rules that may help?

Other SSI work rules such as work expense exclusionswork expense exclusions, the student earned income exclusionstudent earned income exclusion, and continued Medicaid coveragecontinued Medicaid coverage may help an SSI recipient while working.

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