Jeri Fields: SSA helps with self support plans
If you rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits and want to start working or return to work, we can help. A Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) is a rule under SSI to help people with disabilities return to work. If you receive SSI or could qualify for SSI after setting aside income or resources so you can pursue—or achieve—a work goal, you could benefit from a PASS.
How does a PASS help someone return to work?
• We base SSI eligibility and payment amounts on income and resources (things of value that the individual owns).
• PASS lets a disabled individual set aside money and things he or she owns to pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific work goal.
• The objective of the PASS is to help disabled individuals find employment that reduces or eliminates SSI or SSDI benefits.
You can read all about the PASS program at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11017.pdf.
The plan must be in writing, and Social Security must approve it beforehand. To start, contact your local Social Security office for an application (Form SSA-545-BK) or you can access the form at www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-545.html.
There are many people who can help you write a PASS, including a Ticket to Work service provider, a vocational counselor, or a relative. Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients who want to work and progress toward financial independence. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. Please call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. -8 p.m. to learn more about the Ticket program.
Your job isn’t just a source of income — it can be a vehicle to independence or a beginning to fulfilling your dreams. Let Social Security’s PASS help you achieve your goals.
Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.