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SSD benefits and a plan to achieve self-support (PASS)

When a person in North Carolina suffers an injury or illness and receives Social Security disability benefits as a result, he or she might want to eventually try to get back to work or start a business. A concern that these individuals often have, however, is how to do it and if it affects their benefits. This is what the plan to achieve self-support (PASS) is for. PASS allows the person to use the income or other items to further their attempts at work. Examples include money for school or specific training for a job. The job is meant to let the person earn a sufficient income to cease needing SSD benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

PASS is for the following people: those who would like to work, those who are able to get SSI or qualify for SSI due to blindness or a disability, and those who have other forms of resources and/or income allowing the person to obtain a job or begin a business. PASS can help with other aspects of SSI. The rules for SSI state that income the person receives can lower the SSI amount received. If there is an approved PASS, however, the income can be used for the work goal.

Money set aside for PASS will not be counted when SSI is calculated.. Although a resources cannot be worth more than $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple, when a plan has been approved by the Social Security Administration, the resources can be used to get education and items that will help facilitate working. Resources that are set aside for PASS will not be calculated in these totals.

There are other points about PASS that will be covered in a later post. These include what the money can be used for, how a plan is set up, what the SSA does after a plan is created, how to appeal if a plan has been denied, and what to do if the plan cannot be completed. Those who are receiving SSI and want to get back to work should be aware of PASS, as it may prove beneficial to him or her. A legal professional who is experienced with SSI Supplemental Security Income may be able to help.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Working While Disabled -- A Guide to Plans for Achieving Self-Support, pages 1-2," accessed on Sept. 17, 2017

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