The thought of never returning to work after a serious injury can be disheartening. If you believe you can recover enough of your health to be a productive member of the work force once again, Social Security may provide a means to help you through a Plan to Achieve Self–Support.
According to the Social Security Administration, a PASS is an action plan to help you get a certain kind of job. You can also compose a PASS that will guide you towards setting up your own business. If Social Security approves your PASS, you can divert resources to realize your plan without having to worry about a loss of SSI or other Social Security benefits.
How to write a PASS
A PASS contains several components. You should identify the job or the specific business you want to work at. From there, you should explain how you will achieve your goal. You may describe what you need to make your goal happen, such as any or all of the following:
- Education or training
- Assistive technology
- Child care
You will also single out the money you will put towards these things. The money must be different from your SSI payments. You may use your Social Security benefits, your present job wages, money from your savings or other assets you own. Finally, you should include a timetable for working towards your goal.
Determining eligibility for a PASS
Social Security has broad guidelines that may allow you to submit a PASS. You might be eligible if you receive SSI but have income that reduces how much you receive in SSI benefits, or if a PASS would allow you to diminish or eliminate SSI or Social Security benefits. You may write a PASS even if your income and asset level is too high for SSI.
Regardless of your situation, if Social Security approves your PASS, the agency will not count money you spend towards implementing your plan against your eligibility for SSI. And if you receive SSI, a PASS can boost your SSI benefits to a higher amount. Since anyone can help you write a PASS, this is an option that should be simple for you to explore.