PASS Online

Resource for the Plan to Achieve Self-Support Application

3. The Impact of PASS

In the examples below the individual is single, lives alone and receives SSI benefits. We outline what their usable monthly income is under four different scenarios: not working and receiving SSI/SSDI; working without a PASS and receiving SSI and SSDI; working with a PASS and receiving SSI and SSDI; and, increased earning potential after completing a PASS.

Scenario One: Not working but receiving SSI and SSDI

Chris receives $220 per month from SSDI and has chosen not to work. SSA subtracts $20 per the General Income Exclusion from the $220 in SSDI, leaving countable unearned income of $200. This amount is then subtracted from the 2009 New York State SSI living alone rate of $761 per month thereby making Chris eligible for $561 in SSI. It is easy to see that Chris will have to live on a tight monthly budget of $781.

Scenario Two: Working but not using PASS

Chris continues to receive $220 per month in SSDI. However, Chris has decided to take a job and is earning $462 per month. As in scenario one, SSA disregards $20 from Chris' SSDI, leaving him with $200 in countable unearned income. SSA then disregards $65 of earned income from Chris' wages. The remaining amount of $397 is then divided by two (50%), resulting in $198.50 in countable earned income. Finally, SSA adds Chris' earned and unearned income, totaling $398.50 in countable income per month. This amount ($398.50) is subtracted from his 2009 SSI rate of $761, giving Chris $362.50 per month in SSI.

Because Chris is now working, his total monthly income is $1,044.50 compared to not working and receiving $781 per month in SSI and SSDI benefits. That is $263.50 more income per month.

Scenario Three: Working and using a PASS

In this third scenario, Chris continues to receive SSDI with total countable unearned income of $200 as calculated in previous scenarios. Chris also continues earning $462 per month, with a total monthly income of $1,044.50. However, he has decided to apply for a PASS to cover costs associated with the job training skills he needs in order to secure a job that pays almost one and a half times as much as his current job. Chris' job training will cost $150 per month. He will also need an extra $50 per month to pay for new clothing and shoes for his new job as a retail sales clerk. This means that Chris needs an extra $200 per month to pay for the items and services he needs in order to secure this new, higher-paying job.

By using a PASS, Chris proposes to set aside the countable portion of his SSDI benefits ($200) per month to pay for the job coach training and new clothing. SSA will now disregard (not count) the amount of his SSDI benefits in calculating his SSI check. Therefore, SSA will apply the same budgeting formula against his wages- $20 any-income disregard, $65 earned income disregard and then 50% deduction of his remaining earnings. This leaves Chris with countable income of $188.50 per month. Again, SSA will subtract his countable income of $188.50 from his SSI rate of $761, giving Chris $572.50 in SSI per month.

Chris' financial situation changes dramatically because he is using PASS: $ 462 in wages + $761 in SSI + $220 in SSDI= $1443 per month to pay for his living expenses and the items and services he needs in order to secure that better paying job and become more financially independent.

Scenario Four: Increased earning potential

As a result, after 18 months of using a PASS and completing on-the-job training with a job coach, Chris' new job provides an increase in earnings to $1400 a month. Chris would still be eligible for an SSI check. Even if Chris' earnings increase to the point where he is no longer eligible for SSI, Chris could still maintain medical coverage (Medicaid) under the 1619(b) provision as long as he keeps his resources below $2,000 and recertified for Medicaid each year.

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