Many recipients of Social Security Disability benefits wish to re-enter the workforce. They do not want their future to be defined by reliance on Social Security benefits (SSA). However, some of these persons must first accomplish certain goals before achieving self-sufficiency. Often, this entails earning an education or amassing sufficient funds to establish their own business. The SSA’s PASS program was developed for individuals like these.
PASS stands for Plan for Achieving Self-Sufficiency. Form 545 is used to notify the SSA of your intent to pursue future work-related goals. This form requests information about your work objectives, your medical history, your vocational past, your educational background, how you intend to accomplish your work objectives, and the costs associated with your plan.
When an individual receives SSI disability payments, the amount of assets that individual may hold is limited in order to qualify for the SSI program. When an individual participates in the PASS program, however, the funds used to pay for the expenses indicated on Form 545 are not regarded as assets. For instance, if a someone requires $5,000 to start their own business, they can file an authorized Form 545 documenting the expense and save the $5,000 without the savings going against the individual’s asset limit in order to be eligible for SSI benefits.
It is critical to note that the individual must first obtain approval for Form 545 before beginning to accumulate assets to contribute to their job goals. Until the SSA approves the form, all assets amassed by the SSI beneficiary will be counted against the recipient’s asset limits for SSI eligibility.