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Thread: PASS Plans - SSDI vs. SSI

  1. #1

    PASS Plans - SSDI vs. SSI

    Voc Rehab paid for my graduate school (which they no longer do in South Dakota) and now they think I need a job. VR is going to pay for modifications for a different van - one I may actually drive - so it's easier for me to get to and from work. They want me to get a PASS plan to pay for the van before modifications.

    I worked enough before my accident that I receive SSDI every month instead of SSI. The state pays for my attendent care as well. I'm covered by a health insurance policy, along with Medicaid and Medicare.

    Here's my concern - when I asked what the benefit of a PASS plan was, I was told that it would make me eligible for Medicaid and SSI. I already have Medicaid so what, if any, are the advantages of SSI?

    Another thing I don't like about the PASS plan is getting tied to something I don't need. I will be paying for my doctorate work myself (through creative placement of money) and I'm currently in the process of talking with my local university about teaching a few undergraduate courses. Anyway, with my job I could easily afford to take out a loan myself to pay the van off. Soon, I should making enough money that I'll no longer need state benefits (as I get further along in my coursework and teach more classes).

    Does anybody have experience with PASS plans? Are there advantages to SSI over SSDI?

  2. #2
    have experience. Big advantage, is maintain health care as you earn money. You will need the PASS deductions to reduce your income to qualify. Work $ may make you ineligible for PCA care.

    Look into Ticket to Work plan under SSI as well. Go to PT me if you have specific questions.

    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"....C. Reeve 1998

  3. #3
    I filled out a Ticket to Work awhile ago.

    Healthcare shouldn't be a problem while I pursue my Ph.D. because I can make a decent salary before they take benefits from me. I'm not real concerned about benefits at this point because I also have a full time job offer where I'd make a great salary, but it would require a move.

    I'm not looking to get tied down to anything because I should be free of state and federal aid in the next few years - the way I want it.

    Thanks Cheesecake. I'm still going to mull it over before committing.

  4. #4
    The biggest plus is that it does not eat into your trial work period. That is an important consideration for anyone seeking work. You can always bail out of a PASS plan and convert to self pay.

    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"....C. Reeve 1998

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kaprikorn1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    S.F. Bay Area, Calif.
    CJO...why does the state pay for your attendant, school and van? Aren't you like mega-rich from your settlement? Wasn't the settlement based on future-needs expenses for the rest of your life expectancy?

    I get ssdi and workers comp disability but they don't pay for vans and school and attendants. And I didn't get a big insurance settlement. How do you get them to do that?


    "It's not easy being green"

  6. #6
    Interesting that I saw this tonight...I'm in the process of creating a PASS plan myself. Voc. Rehab is paying for my school as well, but with the medical bills that I still have from my injury (and some credit cards from before), money is tight. Because of that, it would end up being quite some time before I could afford to buy transportation. However, with the PASS plan, which would re-qualify me for Medicaid and give me an extra 5 hundred or so a month, I may be able to afford it. It's somewhat confusing....basically, you get to keep getting your SSDI and you will get SSI as well. Technically, you're still spending your own money out of the PASS plan when paying for items listed in the plan. However, it's extra money that you wouldn't have had before. Personally, my PASS plan will take me through the remainder of my college years.
    People do get it confused and think that you're taking advantage of the system. However, although you are getting extra money (SSI) every month that you were not getting aren't. The goal of the PASS which I'm sure you know stands for Plan for Achieving Self Support, is just achieve self-support. The extra income is designed to help you get off of your feet and become a productive tax paying member of society. It's cheaper for them to pony up the money now than it is to pay the disability over the long haul. I hope this made's confusing...but I think I'm at least partially correct.

    "Another day that I can't find my head...My feet don't look like they're my own...I'll try and find the floor below to stand...I hope I reach it once again" ~Norah Jones

  7. #7
    CJO contact a benefits counselor at your closest independent living center.

    In addition, if you need a vehicle living in a rural area without public transportation . . . to get a job . . . you can force VR to pay up rather than wait to pay for it through a spend down program.

    This so called "cost sharing" is not mandated nor required to my knowledge. Tell them you want to see the regs requiring you seek a spend down plan and alleviating them of their duty.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

  8. #8
    I've never heard of PASS. It's interesting so, I did a search. check out this link. Maybe, it can help.
    I'm looking at this to help my bf get his life back together. Right now the only thing he has is SSD, a great group of doctors, and me.
    Obviously, he could use a little more!
    Thanks for posting cjo.

    We are all faced with a series of great opportunities... Brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the responses and insight everybody.

    Kap ~ I did receive a very modest insurance settlement, but being mega-rich will have to wait until after few decades of hard work. I did not sue the driver of the car, it was my choice to get in the vehicle. Incidentally, the family sued him for his sister's wrongful death and received more money than I.

    Both of my parents work and most of my settlement went to Beijing. I still have some money available, but that was acquired through fundraisers and donations.

    Also, somebody at your level doesn't require attendent care like a mid-level quad. I cannot live independently and need attendent care. VR will pay for modifications to vehicles, in my case a van is needed. I buy the vehicle - they modify it. I lucked out that they paid for grad school, but the rest is on me.

    I'm not milking the government for money - I intend to be fiscally self-sufficient very soon. You also must remember I was a very poor college student at the time of my injury, making me eligible for many programs, even though I was fully insured.

    Kevin ~ it sounds great for you, but I've had Medicaid for quite sometime and I was even told my monthly checks may become less. One of my issues is that I can afford to make a monthly loan payment as is, so I don't understand the need for it. I've been told that I'll still get a trial work period.

    Larwatson ~ I'm working with a great benefits counselor, but she's just as confused as I am. VR is really pushing this. You're right on about the lack of public transportation - it doesn't exist here.

    SoulMate ~ also check out It has some examples of PASS plans and how they've worked for others.

  10. #10
    I just got awarded my SSDI And am now awaiting to get a disability retirement from my workplace. I got no settlement, so I just got to live within my means. If I get my retirement at least I will be able to keep my health Ins. that will be a big plus for me. You know I don't understand how people get these big settlements? they did not find my sci for over 2 months still nothing could be done. I was not at fault in anyway except going to work that morning and this is all I got! I wanted the old ladies DL but they said that was impossible. Even if I could go back to school I could not take it sitting very long, at any kind of new job. I just got it with no lube!!!

    What we need to do is get the minium amout of liability ins raised!! that what the person carried who hit me. My bill's totaled well over $300,000. and are still climbing and I got to pay! Just does not seem fair when you had no fault in your case.
    Just me venting again

    T-12 incomplete 10-3-02

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