PASS Online

Resource for the Plan to Achieve Self-Support Application

6. When First Considering a PASS

Because PASS is an SSI work incentive, it is important to remember that all eligibility requirements for SSI must be met with the exception of the income and resource test in order for a PASS to be used. Thus, SSDI recipients submitting a PASS application must also submit an SSI application at the same time to avail themselves of this SSI work incentive.

If individuals establishing PASS are already receiving SSI, meeting initial SSI eligibility criteria is not required. If individuals are not currently receiving SSI, they must submit an SSI application following the regular application procedure. For those persons who would not qualify for SSI without the PASS, an SSI application must be submitted as well. Moreover, the PASS must also be submitted within 60 days of the date of the SSI application. When the PASS is subsequently approved, the individual is entitled to SSI benefits for the month following the application month and thereafter, as long as PASS and/or SSI criteria continues to be met.

In addition to the above outlined considerations when determining if PASS is right for someone, it is important to know that there is only one PASS per occupational goal permitted. This should help persons to understand that careful planning is required in order to make the most of the PASS opportunity as part of successful employment strategies.

Approval Requirements

For a PASS to be approved several requirements must be met:

  • A feasible occupational (work) goal that matches the person's interests, preferences, abilities and support needs
  • A viable plan that details short-term interval steps (milestones) and time frames to move the person toward and assist them in achieving their work goal
  • A savings spending plan that outlines income and resources to be set aside, how the income or resources will be spent, where they will be located and other information such as reasonableness of cost and /or cost estimates

Effect of In-Kind Support

In-kind support and maintenance is unearned income in the form of food, clothing, or shelter that is given or received because someone else pays for it. Whether living expenses are paid in full or just in part by someone else has a bearing on the amount of SSI cash benefits individuals receive when using the PASS work incentive.

Individuals who live in someone else's household and contribute no money for their food and shelter expenses are considered to be receiving full in-kind support. In SSA lingo this is referred to as the Value of the One-Third Reduction (VTR), which is $628 in 2024. Individuals falling into this category will have the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) portion of their SSI cash benefit reduced by one-third. This reduction comes right off the top of their SSI check.