Identification Number:
SI 00870 TN 16
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ORDES
Title:Plans to Achieve Self-Support for Blind or Disabled People
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI); Disability
Link To Reference:
Part 05 - Supplemental Security Income
Chapter 008 - Income
Subchapter 70 - Plans to Achieve Self-Support for Blind or Disabled People
Transmittal No. 16, 06/2018



Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


Congress wrote the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) provision into the original Supplemental Security Income (SSI) statute to give blind and disabled individuals every opportunity to return to competitive employment.

PASS excludes some income and resources that SSA normally counts for SSI purposes. A PASS participant must use the excluded income and resources to achieve a specific work goal. This section outlines what income and resources SSA can exclude and how to exclude them.

We rewrote SI 00870.008 to incorporate plain language guidelines.

Summary of Changes

SI 00870.008 Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Exclusions

The revised section clarifies:

    • the duration we exclude income or resources for PASS;
    • the amount of income can be set aside in a PASS; and
    • the type of resources that can be set aside in a PASS.
The section also give the PASS specialist additional guidance on how to apply the exclusions.

SI 00870.008 Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Exclusions

A. Policy

1. Duration of PASS exclusion

In calculating Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts, we exclude income and resources set aside under an approved Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) from countable income and resources as long as the plan is active. In order to prevent overpayments, the exclusions should not extend more than one month after the month of the next scheduled progress review (see SI 00870.055). An amendment to a plan may affect the excluded income and resources (see SI 00870.050B.3). See SI 00870.070 for a discussion about counting excluded income and resources when a plan is suspended or terminated.

2. When income and resources are considered set-aside

Income and resources are set aside when they are:

  • used to pay for current PASS expenses; or

  • used to pay for previously incurred expenses (see SI 00870.007B.2); or

  • saved for a future expense.

A PASS participant must keep set-aside PASS funds distinguishable from other monies, particularly when the participant is saving for future expenses.

3. Set-aside income

A beneficiary cannot set aside income that exceeds the planned expenditures in an approved PASS.

In calculating SSI payment amounts for PASS, we will exclude:

  • earned and unearned income, including

  • any income deemed to the beneficiary, or

  • any in-kind support and maintenance valued under the presumed maximum value (PMV) rule.

(See SI 00835.300 for information about the PMV and SI 01320.140 when deemed income is involved.)

EXCEPTION: The PASS income exclusion cannot reduce the value of the one-third reduction (VTR).

4. Set-aside resources

In calculating SSI payment amounts for PASS, we will exclude resources owned by or deemed to the beneficiary,

Additionally, we will exclude resources when the beneficiary plans to use them directly in the work (e.g., business equipment) involved in the approved PASS.

B. Procedure – excluding PASS income and resources

1. Excluding PASS income

  • Apply the PASS income exclusion per the specified order of exclusions in SI 00820.500 (earned income) and in SI 00830.050 (unearned income).

  • Apply the exclusion against unearned income first with any remaining PASS exclusion applied to earned income.

2. Excluding PASS resources

  • Apply the PASS resource exclusion if we cannot exclude the resource under other provisions.

  • Exclude a bank account if the beneficiary uses the account solely for PASS.

C. POMS references

SI 00820.500 Earned Income Exclusions – General

SI 00830.001 General Information on Unearned Income for Unearned Income Exclusions

SI 01130.510 Resources Set Aside as Part of a Plan for Achieving Self-Support

SM 01005.170 Earned Income and Exclusions for initial claims, and

SM 01305.105 Type and ID, subsection C for post-eligibility situations

SI 00870 TN 16 - Plans to Achieve Self-Support for Blind or Disabled People - 06/11/2018