You may be unable to work due to your disability; however, what if you could re-enter the work force if you just had the resources to get started? The Social Security Administration (SSA) knows that retraining for a different job can be expensive or even financially impossible if you are dependent on Social Security benefits for your living expenses.
PASS May be a Path Back to Work
The Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) program is one program offered by the SSA to help people receiving benefits get back to work. The PASS program may allow you to earmark some of your Social Security disability income, wages, or other income to pay for the following specific costs related to getting back to work:
- Vocational training
- Assistive technology that will be used for employment related services
- Starting a business
All of these expenses must be related to achieving your specific work goal.
Who Gets a PASS?
You may qualify for a PASS if, once you set aside your Social Security disability income, wages, or other income, you receive or could qualify for Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
What Should Be Included in Your PASS?
First, your PASS must be uniquely designed for you and must provide specific information including:
- The work goal that you can perform
- The time by which you expect to reach your goal
- All of the income you receive and the money you will use to achieve your goal
- How the money you use toward your work goal will be kept separate from your other funds
Your plan must be in writing and the SSA encourages you to use their specific form (SSA-545-BK). You have the right to work with the SSA or with anyone else you choose to develop your PASS. Once your PASS is approved, it will be periodically reviewed by the SSA to make sure that you are actually making progress toward your work goal.
If you have any questions about how returning to work will impact your Social Security disability payments, we encourage you to find out the information you need to make sure you get all of the benefits to which you are legally entitled. Please browse our website or start a free live chat with us today to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.