1. Introducing PASS
2. How a PASS Works
3. The Impact of PASS
4. PASS Candidates
5. Students & Transition Planning & PASS
6. When First Considering a PASS
7. The Occupational Goal
8. Starting a Business
9. A Viable Plan
10. Stumbling Block
11. The PASS Life
As students begin preparing to transition from school to adult life, they need to be informed of all possible resources, services, and funding that could assist them after they graduate. Many students with disabilities are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a financial benefit available to families who meet income and resource requirements and who have a child with a disability. SSI typically also comes with Medicaid. Students, who receive SSI as children, may continue to receive SSI as adults after they will go through an eligibility re-determination process when they turn 18. Students with disabilities who were previously ineligible due to the income or resources of their parents, can reapply as adults. As adults, these students will be evaluated based only upon their own disability, income, and resources, even if they still reside with their parents.
SSI has several Work Incentive programs that could provide resources to eligible students to assist them in obtaining, advancing, or maintaining employment. Plans for Achieving Self Support (PASS plans) are one such work incentive program. To be eligible for a PASS a student must be eligible (or potentially eligible) for SSI and have income or resources that are reducing the SSI check. PASS plans can pay for a variety of items or services, but must be used to meet a vocational goal. They can be used to pay for job development, job coaching, transportation, and equipment needed for work, or to start one's own business.
Waiting lists for many services continue to grow, and services students need for post-school success are often unavailable or are affected by budget cuts. It is essential to support students and families to become aware of, and access if they choose, any financial resource that is available to them. PASS plans are one resource that can help bridge the gap in services between school and adult life for students with disabilities. Determining if students are eligible for a PASS plan is the first step, and the best way to do that is by asking questions at the student's Individual Education Planning (IEP) meetings.
Below are some questions that could assist teachers to identify students who may be eligible for SSI Work Incentives such as PASS plans.
Here are some more questions to now ask:
If a student is currently receiving SSI and one of the following events occur, there may be eligibility for a PASS Plan at that time:
If the student is under the age of 18, their eligibility for SSI will be re-determined when they turn 18. At that point, the student's disability will be reevaluated, and only their income and resources will be looked at. Students who were previously denied SSI due to excess parent income and resources may now be eligible since only the student's income and resources will be counted.