“What is a PA$$?” A PASS is part of the SSI program. A PASS is plan to reach a specific job goal. A PASS is a self-financed employment plan A PASS is an “agreement” between you and SSA.
HIGHER SSI PAYMENTS Pass excludes other income which normally would reduce SSI. With the exclusion we ask the person to put this money into PASS. Most common income excluded is wages/ SSDI. PASS is a self financed RETURN TO WORK EFFORT
What is the PASS “agreement?” You agree to try to work to reduce your dependence on SSA benefits. SSA agrees to temporarily pay you SSI to live on, while you spend YOUR SSDI (or wages) on the “stuff” you need to go to work.
Who Can Benefit From a PASS? SSI recipients who want to be self- supporting Voc rehab participants Recipients in school or training program Beneficiaries who are currently working and want to increase their income Recipients with reduced SSI checks due to other income
Elements of a PASS 4 Be in writing (SSA-545) 4 State a JOB goal or VR evaluation 4 Contain a reasonable time frame 4 List expenses that are necessary to achieve the work goal A PASS must:
Initial PASS Application Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) School information: acceptance letter, class schedule, transcript, financial aid Documentation of PASS expenses.
Initial PASS Application: What We Need Depending on the type of PASS submitted, job goal and expenses, the following items should be sent with the initial PASS application form: Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) or letter from DVR showing you are on their waiting list. Attending School Admission letter, class schedule, Cost of tuition, books and fees, List for grants, scholarships and loans
Transportation Newspaper or internet advertisement of vehicle they are proposing to buy. Written estimate for auto insurance An estimate of mileage to and from school or work Equipment A product summary or advertisement for the computer system they want to purchase A product summary for assistive devices
Services Job coaching / attendant care (hours and cost) Self Employment PASS A detailed business plan Product summaries of goods and services needed for the business.
Other Benefits while on the PASS State Supplements Housing Assistance Food Stamps Energy Assistance Income and resources set aside under a PASS are not countable
FUNDING A PASS Funds used to reach occupational goal will not be used to compute SSI checks Can exclude income, for example... wages Social Security benefits pensions income from husband, wife or parent Can exclude resources, for example... savings bonds bank accounts, certificates of deposit retroactive benefit payments, settlements
PASS Expenses PASS expenses must be Necessary Reasonable Directly related to attaining the job goal Not incurred prior to start of the PASS Cannot be reimbursed by third party
What Kinds of Expenses Can a Plan Help Pay For? School or training expenses tuition, fees, books & supplies Supplies to start a business Employment services, such as job coach Attendant care or child care expenses Equipment & tools to do the job Transportation for work Uniforms, special clothing, safety equipment
PASS Milestone A significant, visible step or event necessary to achieve the occupational goal
Reasons for Denial or Partial Approval of Expenses Incurred prior to PASS Reimbursement expected Not reasonable cost Not necessary to reach goal
The PASS Process Local Social Security Offices take claims forwards PASS material to PASS specialists The PASS Cadre helps local offices develop PASSes reviews and authorizes all PASSes will work with claimants as needed sends notices and makes systems inputs as needed
The Arithmetic of PASS: Kelly receives SSDI of 520.00. Without PASS : $520.00 - 20.00 Gen’l Excl. $500.00 Countable Income (CI) $674.00 SSI FBR - 500.00 CI 174.00 SSI payment Total Income w/o PASS = 694.00/mo.
Kelly, with PASS $520.00 SSDI - 20.00 Gen’l Excl $500.00 UI - $500.00 in PASS 0.00 Cntbl Inc 674.00 SSI FBR - 0.00 Cntbl. Inc. 674.00 SSI payment Total Inc w/ PASS: 674.00 SSI, plus 500.00 to spend on tuition, books, etc.
A Sample PASS - SSI ONLY Example 1 - Wages Being Excluded Billy wants to go to a vocational school to become a auto mechanic. Billy has wages to exclude. He earns $685.00 per month. Countable income figured $685- $85 = $600.00 600/2= $300.00 in countable income. This would normally reduce his SSI by $300.00 per month
Example 1 (continued) He agrees to spend the $300.00 in countable income on his education and we approve a PASS. We set aside this income and his SSI increases by $300/month for the PASS time frame.
A Sample PASS SSDI ONLY Example 2 - SSDI Being Excluded Maria wants to go to school and become a social worker. She gets $800.00 in SSDI benefits The occupational goal would need to expect to generate enough income to eliminate SSDI. We could exclude up to $780.00 in SSDI income. This would give PASS applicant the full SSI payment of $674.00/mo.
Example 2 con’t The applicant is expected to live off the SSI payment and put the PASS funds into the approved expenses.
Occupational Goals: where a PASS begins! A job that will produce sufficient earnings to: reduce dependency on SSI eliminate dependency on SSDI is feasible, considering one’s disability and strengths and abilities -Types of job goals….
JOB Goal: SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT Reduce dependency through: Earning more money by working more hours Earning the same money but with lower out-of- pocket (e.g., fewer hours of job coaching) needed.
Job Goal: SELF-EMPLOYMENT Background running your own business? Taken the SCORE “Going into Business” Seminar? Must include business plan that explains: What is your product or service? Who is your market? How much do you need to “net” in order to replace your benefits?
Help With Self-Employment Contact: Small Business Administration (SBA) SCORE (Affiliated with the SBA) Small Business Development Centers Community colleges James J. Hill Library- St. Paul
Who Can Help Me Write a PASS? Vocational rehabilitation counselor Organizations that help people with disabilities (WIPA, Independent Living Center) Employer Friend or relative Social Security office Minnesota Work Incentives Connection 651-632-5113 1-800-976-6728
PASS Progress Review Plans are periodically reviewed to verify individual is “on track” with planned milestones account for the use of funds ○ What are the actual amounts of income and resources being excluded in figuring SSI checks? ○ Were these funds spent towards attaining the work goal?
PASS Amendment Amendments to the PASS after it has been approved may include changes in: Amount of income or resources to be set aside Planned expenses Scheduled date to reach the job goal MOST PASS APPLICATIONS ARE AMENDED DUE TO UNEXPECTED CHANGES.
Appeals of Our Decisions Request for reconsideration Request for hearing
PASS/AWIC web site Introducing the new PASS/AWIC web site Includes New ONLINE PASS REFERRAL FORM Contact info for PASS Cadre and AWIC Reference material for The public For SSA employees And more…