Bridges Resource Library

Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

Updated as of February 26, 2024.

What Is It?

A Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) is a document that sets forth steps and resources needed to also an individual to secure competitive employment – to earn enough money that the individual will reduce or eliminate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI benefits.

Note: PASS plans are only available to individuals who receive SSI. However,  

Why Would I Want One?

As noted in the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) – Fast Financial Facts Bridges Resource Library entry, SSI financial eligibility includes very strict limits on income and resources. If an individual exceeds these limits, the individual will lose some or all SSI benefits. Not surprisingly, the fear of losing SSI benefits will cause many to avoid work altogether or to limit work hours and/or starting their own business.

A PASS plan serves as a work incentive in two ways:

  • When you have a PASS plan in place, you will be able to earn and save more money – as much as your PASS plan allows
  • Your PASS plan will help you become prepared for the job or business you seek – you are not limited to the job you have right now

What Is In It?

PASS plans are written and serve as a plan of action for getting a particular kind of job or starting a business.  PASS plans contain:

  • Work goal: The job you seek or the business you want to create
  • Your medical condition(s)
  • Your vocational/educational history
  • Steps you will take and the things you will need in order to achieve your work goal. Examples include:
    • Education (including tuition)
    • Training
    • Transportation
    • Child care
    • Assistive technology
  • A timetable for achieving your goal
  • List of expenses you will incur in your plan
    • Purpose
    • Amount
    • Vendor (who sells to item or service you need)
  • Statement of the funds (money) you will use to pay for these things
  • List of your current living expenses

How Do I Get a PASS Plan?

Forms and more information

The Social Security Administration provides more information about PASS plans; please check out these resources:

Getting help writing the PASS plan

As you review the PASS plan form, you’ll notice that the plan is somewhat complex. It may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry.

You can access free assistance in developing your PASS plan from your state’s vocational Rehabilitation agency. Check out the Maryland’s Division of Rehabilitation Services and Office of Blindness & Vision Services Bridges Resource Library entry for more information.

Submitting a PASS plan

To get your PASS plan in place, you will need to complete the form, submit it to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for review, and wait for approval. Please note that your PASS plan is NOT in effect until you have received approval from the SSA.

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

Our Accessible web form


Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546

Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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