Identification Number:
SI 00870 TN 17
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 XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part SI – Supplemental Security Income
Chapter 008 – Income
Subchapter 70 – Plans to Achieve Self-Support for Blind or Disabled People
Transmittal No. 17, 07/26/2019

Audience

PSC: PASS SPECIALIST;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, DRT, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

ORDES

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

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

PASS can exclude some income or resources that SSA normally count for SSI purposes. A PASS participant must use the excluded income or resources to achieve a specific work goal. This section outlines monitoring the PASS and the participant progresses through their plan.

 

Summary of Changes

SI 00870.055 Monitoring PASS Progress

A.1 Language simplification.

A.2 Addition of clarification language, language simplification.

B.Table.1 Addition of clarification and guidance language.

B.Table.5 Removal.

B.Table.6 Change from 6 to 5.

B.Table.7 Removal.

C. Header Changed to align with modifications to subsection C.

C.1.a-c Removal.

C.2 Changed to 1.

C.2 Modification of irrelevant language.

C.2.a Removal of redundancy. Clarification of vague language.

C.2.c Use of or instead of and. Clarification of vague language.

D.Header Modification to refer to all Progress Review action instead of specific actions.

D.1.Header Reduced to just Extension.

D.1 Additional clarification/instructional language. Removal of irrelevant language.

D.2.Header Suspension added.

D.2 Instructional language added.

D.2 Changed to D.3

D.3 Changed to D.4

D.4 Changed to D.5

 

 

SI 00870.055 Monitoring Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Progress

A. Types of Monitoring

1. Progress Check by PASS Expert

The PASS expert uses the progress check to:

  • Periodically check status of approved plans;

  • Assist the individual when appropriate to avoid or quickly remedy potential problems;

  • Improve the individual's chances for success;

  • Document the contact for the record.

The expert conducts additional progress checks as they believe necessary by considering the circumstances of the PASS.

2. Progress Review by PASS Expert

The PASS expert uses the progress review to monitor the progress of the individual's plan. The main emphasis should be on the milestones the individual was working on since the previous review, which milestones he or she have met, and whether he or she is on track with his or her plan. Based on the review, the expert determines whether the PASS should continue as is, be amended, or suspended. Take into account:

  • A change in income or other circumstances that might affect the plan’s feasibility or viability, or indicate the need for amendments;

  • Whether the individual has met plan milestones on schedule and, if not, why not; and

  • Whether funds excluded under the PASS have been set aside and/or spent as agreed and, if not, why not.

Create a schedule of progress reviews based on the relevant circumstances of each PASS, including:

  • Key milestones, revise the schedule as circumstances dictate (e.g., a change in income, work activity, resources, living arrangements, etc., or when a PASS is otherwise amended); and

  • Periods of six months or more during which funds are being set aside but not spent;

  • In May, or after the tax return deadline to file, for Self-Employment plans.

Although a progress review need not follow every milestone, conduct one at least annually.

NOTE: 

No longer use the “SU” diary to schedule a redetermination and PASS review. If an SU diary exists for a PASS case, delete it by transmitting DASU000000 in the diary code and date fields. (see SM 01301.230)

B. Conducting the Review—PASS Experts

Follow the procedures below:

Step

Action

1

Review the file to determine what milestones the individual should have completed and request evidence to verify completion of the milestone(s) or an explanation, if not completed on schedule. Determine the amount of set aside income (D Income) or resources for the review period; and consider any previous balances forwarded from prior progress reviews. The individual must account for this amount. Ask the individual to organize and provide evidence of savings and spending under the PASS (e.g., bank account records, bills, receipt or canceled checks).

2

Ask the individual to obtain any missing required evidence from the appropriate third party, or obtain a signed Consent for Release of Information form SSA-3288 and contact the third party directly.

3

Reconcile, as of the most recent full month, the amount of funds excluded under the PASS with the amount of funds saved and spent under the PASS. Verify that savings are accruing as planned and not being used for other purposes.

4

Obtain the individual's signed explanation, if the individual is not following the savings/spending schedule of the PASS. Consider amending the plan if the individual is making progress toward the goal but the original factors approved for the plan have changed. See SI 00870.055C.3 below.

5

Determine whether the individual received, or sought reimbursement for, expenses related to items and services obtained under the PASS, or whether any such items or services were provided free of cost or paid for by someone else. If so, adjust the savings/spending schedule accordingly.

C. PASS Expert Actions Based on the Review

1. Individual Working in The Work Goal

If the PASS expenses are all paid in full, suspend the PASS for successful completion per SI 00870.070. Consider the appropriateness of alternate exclusions, such as an Impairment-Related Work Expense (IRWE).

If the expenses are not all paid and the person is unable to pay for the remaining PASS expenses, as well as their living, unpaid medical and other work expenses per SI 00870.006.A.1, extend the PASS to pay for unpaid items and services per SI 00870.055D.1 below. Continue the extension until the items are funded or the individual can afford to pay for all of the expenses without the PASS. If the person can afford to pay for all of the expenses, suspend the PASS per SI 00870.070. Consider the appropriateness of alternate exclusions, such as an IRWE.

2. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Evaluation Completed

If the PASS participant submits an amendment, process the request per SI 00870.050.

If the evaluation does not identify any feasible work goals, but the individual submits an amendment, process the request per SI 00870.050. Evaluate the feasibility of the amended work goal and the viability of the amended plan using the criteria in SI 00870.025B.3. The VR evaluation carries considerable weight, but is not the deciding factor.

If the individual declines to submit an amendment, document the record and suspend the PASS per SI 00870.070. Consider the appropriateness of alternate exclusions, such as an IRWE.

3. Individual is Not Working in The Work Goal As Scheduled

If the individual is actively pursuing the work goal and additional time or the exclusion of additional income or resources are justified, work with the individual to amend the PASS to reflect the additional time or expenses required. Extend the PASS per SI 00870.055D.1 below.

If the individual has failed to meet milestones on schedule, explain that the PASS may be suspended which may derail the individual’s work effort and lead to the loss of PASS goods being purchased (e.g., repossession of a vehicle for non-payment of a loan) and SSI monies and/or eligibility. Make every effort to work with the individual to amend the PASS, particularly if failure to follow the PASS is due to circumstances beyond the individual’s control. Schedule a progress check in approximately 60 days to see that the individual is following the amended PASS.

If, after your efforts, the PASS cannot be amended, or the individual has abandoned pursuit of the PASS, suspend the PASS per SI 00870.070. Suggest the possibility of a new PASS with a more suitable work goal. Consider whether alternate exclusions (e.g. an IRWE) are appropriate.

D. Related Actions for Progress Reviews

1. Extension

If the individual has met their scheduled milestones, accounted for PASS funds, or has provided reasonable explanations, find them fully compliant and extend the PASS.

The PASS expert may extend the PASS up to an additional 12 months provided the expert is making disbursements.

If the PASS expert has not made disbursements for items and services for 12 consecutive months or longer, the expert may extend the PASS up to 6 months before conducting another progress review and deciding whether to extend the PASS for another 6-month period or not.

2. Suspension

If the individual has not met scheduled milestones, accounted for all PASS funds, or other circumstances are present and the individual has not provided reasonable explanation, suspend the PASS.

3. Adjustments of Exclusion Needed

Follow the instructions in SI 00870.050B.3 .

4. Progress Review Notice

Follow the instructions in SI 00870.060 .

5. Future Progress Checks and Reviews

Schedule future progress reviews when the PASS Participant should reach a milestone or the extension ends. Conduct progress checks in the future, as warranted.


SI 00870 TN 17 - Plans to Achieve Self-Support for Blind or Disabled People - 7/26/2019