Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

Frequent Pitfalls

Working without considering PASS

Many people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) who are thinking about working don’t realize that setting up a PASS can make their transition into the workplace much easier.

Using a PASS may give you access to more income and resources, and make it easier to pay for expenses that are directly related to a return to work.

Not supplying enough information when you apply for a PASS

After you submit your PASS application, it takes 1 to 3 weeks for Social Security to decide if you qualify.

If your PASS application is incomplete, it will take longer and your application may be denied. Be sure you supply all the information that is requested in your application.

Making purchases before your PASS is approved

Do not start making purchases related to your PASS before your PASS has been approved.

PASS is not an entitlement and there is no guarantee that your PASS will be approved or that purchases you made will be covered retroactively.

Not carefully accounting for the funds in your PASS

You must supply receipts for all the expenses you intend to pay for using funds in your PASS. PASS funds cannot be deposited into an account that is used for personal expenses. All funds that you intend for your PASS must be deposited into a separate account.

If you don’t use your PASS funds as approved, or if you don’t keep your PASS funds separate from your personal expense funds, you could:

  • Get an overpayment from SSI
  • Have your PASS suspended (put on hold) or stopped
  • Jeopardize your future participation in a PASS

Not managing your PASS funds properly

Remember, you are responsible for the record keeping and management of your PASS. Make sure that you:

  • Keep thorough and accurate records
  • Keep all receipts and bank statements
  • Keep track of the milestones in your PASS plan and meet them on time
  • Keep all notices and letters you get from your PASS Cadre
  • Keep copies of everything you send to your PASS Cadre
  • Keep a record of all contacts with your PASS Cadre (for example, telephone conversations and emails)
  • Keep a file or binder that has all the information related to your PASS

Not responding promptly to notices or requests from the PASS Cadre

If you don’t respond to requests or notices you get from your PASS Cadre, your PASS plan may be suspended (put on hold) or stopped.

Not discussing changes with your PASS Cadre in advance

If you want to make any changes to your PASS plan, discuss it with your PASS Cadre first.

Never pay for anything with PASS funds that is not on your list of approved PASS expenses. If you want to change or add to your list of approved expenses, call the PASS Cadre and ask for approval first.

Request all changes to your PASS in writing. If the changes are approved, your PASS Cadre will amend your plan and send you confirmation in writing. Some changes may be conditional and you may have to complete certain steps before the change is allowed.

Reporting changes to your PASS Cadre but not your local Social Security office

Do not assume that if you report a change in income, resources, or living arrangement to your PASS Cadre that your local Social Security office will get that information.

Report such changes to both your PASS Cadre and your local Social Security office.

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