Subject to the rules of administrative finality, start a PASS with the earliest month in which the individual was entitled to SSI and was incurring expenses or setting aside money for future expenses related to the occupational goal. Exclude previously counted income that the individual used or set aside (in a manner that clearly identifies its purpose) for allowable PASS expenses.
If the individual was working towards the goal and paying or saving for future PASS expenses, then the PASS Cadre will consider retroactivity for a PASS applicant with an outstanding overpayment. In this instance, approving the PASS retroactively reduces the amount of the outstanding overpayment.
EXAMPLE: In January 2020, Chue applied and was accepted to a vocational program for the fall term beginning in September 2020. Chue needed to pay a tuition fee of $2500 by September 2020 to attend the program. In February, Chue began saving a portion of his wages each month into a separate bank account to use for educational expenses. Chue continued to save the income through September 2020. Chue did not report his wages timely, resulting in an overpayment in March 2020, June 2020 and August 2020. When he meets with a Claims Specialist in July 2020 to discuss the overpayment, the Claims Specialist refers him to the PASS Cadre to submit a PASS application. The PASS Cadre approves the plan and the tuition for the vocational program. The PASS Specialist reviews the savings and pay stubs and determines that the income that caused the overpayment had been set aside for approved PASS expenses. The PASS Specialist applies a retroactive PASS exclusion beginning in February 2020, the month Chue began saving his wages, and the overpayment is reduced. Additionally, the PASS Specialist excludes the amount in the bank account that had been set aside for tuition.
If the applicant has an outstanding SSI overpayment, a PASS exclusion applied retroactively will net any resulting underpayment against the outstanding overpayment. When the prior overpayment is unrelated to the PASS, a PASS exclusion would not result in a payment that the applicant could use toward approved PASS expenses.
EXAMPLE: Using the example from above, Chue has been saving his wages to cover the cost of his tuition fees and has been reporting his wages timely. However, he has an overpayment on his record from when he was working in 2019, before he began saving for his vocational training. A PASS exclusion applied beginning February 2020 would cause an underpayment which would net against the existing overpayment. Since the prior overpayment is unrelated to the PASS, the PASS Specialist determines that even though Chue had been saving for his approved PASS expenses since February 2020, any resulting underpayment would not be available to pay for the approved tuition expense. The PASS Specialist, therefore, cannot approve the retroactive exclusion of wages.
If the PASS applicant receives Title II benefits only and has no Title XVI entitlement prior to PASS, the date the Cadre receives the SSA-545-BK will be the protective filing date for the Title XVI benefit. In this situation, the plan will begin the month after the month of SSI eligibility. Follow instructions in SI 00870.020 to establish the lead for the Title XVI application.