by Kathy Kirchoff
Are you currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits and would like to get back to work but lack funds for necessary training, uniforms, supplies, transportation, or equipment? The Social Security Administration (SSA) has set up a program called PASS (Plan to Achieve Self-Support) to help disabled persons set aside money for installment or down payments for those items needed to achieve a specific work goal.
You will need to find out what kind of training, supplies, or equipment are necessary for employment and the cost for each. Then you can work with a rehabilitation counselor, benefits specialist, or the local Social Security office to complete the PASS form (SSA-545-BK) and either bring or mail it to your local Social Security office. If your goal is self-employment, you must also include a business plan (visit ISEEK for additional business resource information and assistance in writing a business plan).
If you are determined eligible, SSA will set up a PASS expert to work with you to see if your work goal is reasonable. SSA will then review the plan to make sure items listed are necessary and priced reasonably. The PASS expert will discuss any changes needed with you. If your PASS is not approved, you can appeal the decision.
Don’t PASS up the opportunity to be on your way to employment.