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PASS Accounts

Description and Example Of How A PASS Plan Works

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In essence, having a PASS allows you to get a designated part of your income or assets disregarded in determining whether you're eligible for, and how much you get from, Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For example, let's say that in 2007 you already received $700 monthly from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), plus another $300 from an employer disability pension. That would be too much for both SSI and Medicaid in most states. If you had a PASS account, any income or assets you designate would need to be disregarded for SSI purposes.

Let's say your plan called for saving $1,000 out of your $3,000 savings account, plus $600 a month out of your $700 SSDI check toward a $27,000 purchase price of a large professional-size van you need to set up your own private on-call taxi service for the handicapped. You can reach your goal within four years.

The $1,000 savings you set aside toward the purchase price would no longer make you "too rich" under the $2,000 SSI asset limit rule. Similarly, the $600 you saved monthly out of your SSDI and pension income would reduce your "countable" income, for SSI purposes, to $400 ($300 pension + the remaining $100 of SSDI). Since you're allowed up to $2,000 in ordinary savings, and, in 2007, up to $623 (in most but not all states) in countable income for SSI, you would qualify! You'd get a small SSI check monthly ($223 in this example), plus a Medicaid card.

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