PASS Plans & Title XVI

If You Receive SSI and Extra Earned Income

If you have earned income from employment, you may set aside your earnings in a PASS to use to achieve your work goal.

$750.00 (Gross/mo) - $85.00 (Total Income Exclusions) = $665.00

$665.00 / 2 = $332.50 (Countable earnings that can be set aside in your PASS)

If you put all your countable earnings into your PASS, you will be eligible for your full SSI check ($603/month in 2006), plus you will have the $417.50 in earnings that SSI doesn't count for a total of $1020.50. In addition you will have $332.50 going into your PASS each month (Without a PASS your $603 SSI check would be reduced to $270.50, plus you would have all your earnings for a monthly total of $1020.50 and no money in a PASS).

Note:  If your pay fluctuates significantly, your PASS plan should be adjusted.  If your PASS is originally written addressing your maximum monthly pay, and your earnings fall, then you will be responsible for paying a portion of the PASS expense out of your personal money, or you must modify your PASS to reflect a lower amount. Another way to deal with wage fluctuation is to state in your PASS that all donatable earnings you have will go into your PASS.

This is a typical scenario for people receiving SSI. As was mentioned earlier, people receiving only SSI must also be receiving a paycheck in order to have a PASS. In the scenario above, over a 36 month period, you would accumulate $8670 to be used to help you achieve your work goal.

Case - Nick has been getting $603/month in SSI.  At his new job he earns $300 a month, which reduces his SSI benefits to $495/month.  He needs uniforms for work.  His PASS allows him to set aside the countable $107.50/month in earnings to pay for uniforms, and increases his SSI by the same amount to $603/month.


If You Have Resources in Excess of SSI'sAllowable Limits

If you already receive SSI , and then receive payments that threaten to put you over the resource limit, you may use PASS plan to prevent your SSI check from stopping due to excess resources. As an example, Sandy receives a lump sum from a retirement plan retirement plan when her job ends. By setting aside the amount of the lump sum into a PASS, Sandy remains eligible for SSI and Medicaid.

Case - Olivia's father recently died and left her an inheritance of $4000.  She now has resources that exceed the allowable limits, and is at risk of losing her SSI benefits.  Her PASS plan sets aside $2500 of her inheritance for purchase of a computer to help her with her community college course work, that is preparing her for a job as an accountant. By using a PASS, Olivia is able to purchase equipment she needs, reduce her resources to under the SSI limit, and thus keep receiving her SSI check without interruption.

Another example is a person who, although eligible for SSI/Medicaid due to disability, may be above the SSI resource limits because of a trust fund, or some other form of exterior funding. Using the excess funds to support a PASS plan, and thus reducing the resources below $2000, will allow the person to become SSI/Medicaid eligible while contributing to the ability of the person to achieve their work goal and reduce his/her reliance on SSI benefits.

A third example is a person who loses a job through down-sizing and receives a $5000 lump sum severance payment. He/she is now $3000 above the resource limits. By putting $3000+ into a PASS to establish a business or purchase items and education for a new job, the person remains eligible for Medicaid/SSI, and has invested in his/her own future.

If You Receive SSI and Will Have Earned Income (In the Near Future)

You may use projected earnings from employment to fund goods and services in a PASS. Your approved PASS plan will begin setting aside your countable wages starting with the first month you are employed. This is a pro-active approach to PASS plans.

Earnings - $0
SSI - $603 (2006)
Employment to begin in two months - wages of $850/month ($850.00 - $85.00 = $765.00).  $765.00 / 2 = $382.50 countable earnings per month.
 $382.50 in PASS plan over 36 months is $13,770 for PASS expenses. PASS is established, SSI check remains at $603 (2006) per month and Medicaid remains intact.