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What Is A Plan For Achieving Self--Support?

Pass is a SSI work incentive, which allows persons with disabilities to set aside income and/or resources to be used to achieve specific work goals. For example, you could set aside money for education, vocational training or starting a business.

Using the PASS incentive, individuals set aside income and/or resources designated to pay for specific services or items that are necessary for reaching their employment goal. The PASS makes it financially feasible to pay for these items or services by enabling the person to recover some, or in some cases, all of the expenses through their SSI cash benefit.


The purpose of the PASS work incentive is to increase or maintain a persons ability to work and earn a living, and as a result, reduce their reliance on government benefit support in the long term. Therefore, for a PASS to be approved by the SSA there must be a reasonable chance that individuals can achieve their vocational goal. There must also be a clear connection between the vocational goals and the increased or maintained earning capacities.

PASS is meant to assist a person in competing in the job market. It is important to note that a PASS is just the means to acquire the services and items needed for starting work; not the means to make income and available for ongoing costs.

Who Can Have A PASS?

Any person who is blind or disabled that gets Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or can qualify for SSI, can have a PASS. It is important to keep in mind that as earnings go up, the individual who does not initially need a PASS, may later need one to remain eligible or to increase his or her SSI payment amount.

The individual must have:

  • a feasible work goal,

  • a specific savings/spending plan,

  • and must provide for a clearly identifiable accounting for the funds which are set aside.

The individual must then follow the plan and negotiate revisions as needed.

What Kinds Of Expenses Can A PASS Help Pay For?

A plan may be used to pay for a variety of expenses that are necessary to assist you to reach your work goal.

The following are examples that a PASS may help pay for. Not all of these will apply to every plan. You might have other expenses depending on your goal. For example, your plan may help you save for:

  • supplies to start a business;

  • tuition, fees, books and supplies that are needed for school or training;

  • employment services, such as payments for a job coach;

  • attendant care or child care expenses;

  • equipment and tools to do the job;

  • transportation to and from work; or

  • uniforms, special clothing and safety equipment.


Susan O'Mara - Rehabilitation Research & Training Center on Workplace Supports


Social Security has a toll-free number that operates from 7AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday: 1-800-772-1213 If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
6401 Security Blvd.
Room 4-C-5 Annex
Baltimore, MD 21235