Individuals who rely on Social Security Disability may want to start or return to work at some point. However, many of these individuals are hesitant to act out of fear that their disability benefits will stop.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers several programs that help Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients return to the workforce.
Our firm has previously discussed the Ticket to Work Program, which is a free and voluntary service. This program helps people with disabilities return to work or begin working for the first time. The Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) program is another pathway to help SSI recipients set aside money and assets to help pay for items or services needed to achieve their work goals.
We explain the PASS program in greater detail. If you need help getting disability benefits, Dayes Law Firm is here to assist you. The initial consultation comes at no cost or obligation to you. We are not paid for our services unless we help you win.
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What is the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Program?
The PASS program is an SSI provision designed to help people with disabilities return to work. PASS is for those who already receive SSI or may qualify for SSI that would like to return to work or even start a business.
The program provides a way for individuals to set aside some income or resources to reach their work or business goals. Examples include education, training or business expenses. The main objective is to help SSI recipients find employment that either reduces or eliminates their reliance on benefits.
How PASS Helps SSI Recipients Return to Work
SSI eligibility depends on your income and resources (things of value that you own). Generally, any income you earn may reduce your SSI benefit. However, if you are approved for the PASS program, you may be able to set aside money for your work goal from your monthly SSI check.
The money you save could be used for the following:
- Transportation costs to/from work
- Fees and supplies for school or training
- Childcare or attendant care
- Employment services (job coaching or resume writing)
- Assistive technology for employment purposes
- Supplies to start a business
- Equipment and tools for a specific job
Participating in the PASS program will require several steps. You must first research what you will need in order to reach a specific work goal. You will then need to determine how much these items will cost and submit an application to PASS. The program can then help you save money to pay for these costs.
In most instances, SSI recipients may have a higher benefit amount to cover basic living expenses as they work toward gainful employment. It is also important to note that those approved for the PASS program will not be penalized for any additional resources set aside to achieve their goals. This means that individuals may be able to maintain their SSI eligibility for as long as possible until employed.
PASS Program Application and Review Process
You must submit a written plan of action for returning to work or starting a business that includes:
- The job or business (your work goal)
- The steps you will take and things needed to achieve this goal
- The money you will use to pay for these things
- A timeframe for achieving your work goal
A vocational rehabilitation counselor or an experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer can help you draft your PASS plan. Our lawyers are well-versed in SSA-related requirements. We are ready to help you complete the application (SSA-545-BK) and submit all supportive documents in a timely manner.
Once the application has been approved, it will be periodically reviewed to ensure that you are following the plan to achieve your work goal. The SSA must be notified if you choose to stop or change your PASS plan. If your application is not approved, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits Today
Dayes Law Firm is here to get you the disability benefits you need. Learn how we may be able to help you by scheduling a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation.
If you have a viable claim, you pay nothing up front for our services. We only get paid if we recover disability benefits on your behalf.
Call 1-800-503-2000 for Trusted Legal Help.