Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Karla Bell and I would like to welcome you to today's webinar entitled plan to achieve self-support… San Diego state university interwork and today I am pleased to introduce our presenter Megan Helen. She is a Social Security specialist working in the California Department of rehab Social Security plan section. She is responsible for developing and providing training and technical assistance to field staff regarding Social Security work incentives the ticket to work and work incentives improvement act and health benefits incentives. She assess and implement monitoring activities related to Social Security programs such as DOR, cost reimbursement programs, grant opportunities and demonstration projects. She is an experienced trainer and presenter in the area of Social Security and she's been with the department of rehab for three years. First I'd like to go through some tips to get everyone started. If you would like to use the close captioning today go ahead and click the window, pulldown menu and select closed captioning. A captioning window will appear at the bottom of your screen and you may resize and move the window to meet your viewing needs. Now make it will take your questions at the very end of today's presentation. So I'm going to turn off the chat capability in a minute so please jot down any questions you may have as she goes through today's PASS presentation. We will open the webinar window again for questions once the presentation has been completed and at the end we are also going to provide links to the certified rehabilitation Counselor credit quiz and a survey at the very end and those way those will also go out to you in the e-mail as well. I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to Megan.

>>  Okay, great, thank you, Karla and thank you also to the (inaudible) and San Diego State interwork or part of my role with the department of rehab is to do things like this to provide craning training and assistance primarily to the field staff that department of rehab, our vocational rehabilitation counselors but also to other field staff and community partners so I'm really looking forward to being here today and working with you all as we talk about the plan to achieve self-support. Or PASS. So we do have quite a full plate this afternoon showing the overview of the topics we will be covering today so we are going to start with a very brief overview of the two Social Security Administration disability programs just so we can have it everyone starting on the same page in terms of which progr is which and which work incentives go with which. Y We're going to talk about of course talk about what is PASS, makes a PASS candidate how PASS works and talking also about occupational goals, expenses that can be written into a PASS plan. We're going to get several examples of how a PASS plan affects a person's benefit amounts and we're going to finish up the webinar by looking at the actual components of the PASS application and I've develop just a real quick simple for you guys to look at and review so you can kind of familiarize yourself with what exactly the PASS application is asking for. So, to start many of you may be familiar with the to disability programs that the SSA has. The first program will talk about his supplemental security income or SSI and then there's another program called Social Security disability insurance. Or SSDI. For those of you participating in the webinar I would love to see how familiar you are with these programs. So in the participant box to the left of your screen as you will notice that there are some little icons. The first one has a little :-) on it and you go over to the right, the fourth one over there is a box with a checkmark so I'd like to ask you now to use the checkmarks either a green checkmark meaning yes, or a red X meaning no. And give me an idea of how familiar do you think you are with these two programs. Do you feel pretty comfortable? Do you think you know a little bit about these programs if nothing else. Going to ask you to go ahead and use the checkmarks is there so we can get a feel for what kind of information you're coming up with so far. A couple of processes there is no shame in that it looks like a pretty good mix then. Now very briefly, these two programs are similar in that in order to be eligible for either or both of these programs a person has to be Social Security Administration or SSA disability criteria. After the one basic similarity these really are two very different programs. So on the left-hand side of the table we have some key things that are specific to the SSI program. First and foremost it is a needs-based program and the Social Security determines whether or not someone is in need is by applying resource limits. So another component of the SSI program is that a person cannot have more than $2000 in cash or resources if they want to continue to be reading eligible for SSI. Now the SSI payment fluctuates from month to month. If a person has other income and a picture or if they are utilizing other work incentive program so it's going to very Maktoum month depending on persons picture. The SSI check his pay from the general tax revenues and there is a medical benefits associate associated with SSI. The federal program is known as Medicaid and in California the program is known as Medi-Cal. So that is again very brief. Basic information about SSI. SSDI is very different. To be eligible for SSDI a person has to have enough qualifying work history, so they have to have worked a certain amount of time and paid into the Social Security trust fund in order to be eligible. And the payment of a person's SSDI check is based on the average lifetime earnings that are covered by Social Security so it is going to vary from person to person. The SSDI checks are paid from the disability trust fund and there's also medical benefit program associated with SSDI and that is known as Medicare. This is again a very brief, very basic overview of the two programs and the one thing that I want to emphasize is just that they are very different programs so they have different work incentives associated with them. You will see as we move through the webinar today that we are going to be talking more specifically about the SSI program because Bass is an SSI work incentives. From here on out we're going to talk specifically about PASS. I just didn't want to start with the basic overview of the two programs because they do interactive and we're going to see a little bit about both programs as we go through the day. So on slide five, let's talk a little bit about what exactly is the PASS. For those of you who may be joining us a little bit late the PASS acronym stands for plan to achieve self-support. And this is a written plan that allows recipients of SSI to set aside income or resources for a certain amount of time and be in, or resources is used to achieve a chosen occupational goal. So you will notice here again just emphasizing that this is a work incentive for SSI recipients. It is an SSI work incentives. There are some cases where PASS malar person who was on the receiving SSDI to become eligible for SSI by utilizing a PASS plan and that is something if you are interested in knowing more about how that works please feel free to bring that up in the question and answer sessions. It is something that we tend to come by a little less frequently but it is something that is a possibility so if that is something that you are interested let me know and we can talk a little bit more about that. PSS is also a way for Social Security to assist people with disabilities in their own efforts to join or enter that workforce and of course we run across the same guiding principle with a lot of the Social Security work incentives that have been developed. Continuing on to slide six with what exactly is a PASS you will wreck recall that I said it not basic overview the SSI payment fluctuates but there's other income in the picture. So if a person has other income and a picture it's going to cost their SSI check to reduce. So what the PASS plan allows a person to do is to set aside that income that is otherwise causing their SSI check to reduce. And use the income to purchase specific things that they need in order to work and when income is set aside into a separate account to be used toward those dedicated PASS expenses it is no longer counted as income when Social Security is doing the calculations to determine a person's monthly SSI check. That might sound a little bit complicated we will be looking at some actual examples in looking at the numbers and but has an overview we will go from general to start out with and we'll get into the details a little bit more. The funds that are set aside into a PASS plan the PASS plan I mentioned earlier so the resource limit is currently $2000 so if the person hasn't approved PASS plan even if they have $2001 or $5000 or however much money in the PASS account it's not going to affect their eligibility for SSI because it won't be counted as a resource so that's another important piece of how the mechanisms work in the PASS the plan. Now, the work incentive, the class plan is intended to encourage SSI recipients to eventually become self-supporting. Of course it's called the plan to achieve self-support so, self-supporting employment is what we are looking for at the end of the PASS plan but it doesn't need to be immediate. And I think that that is something that is definitely worth emphasizing it's not emphasizing it's worth emphasizing that the data the person achieves the occupational goal that they are going to meet their benefits anymore the intent of the PASS plan is that eventually as a result of5 At some point down the road the person will be less reliant on benefits that is the main goal of a PASS plan. So you might be wondering about some of the requirements, how does the person if they are eligible for a PASS plan. It would be a strong PASS candidate, so that's what we will talk about now on slide seven. Essentially the person's foremost thing that we look out for who is a strong PASS candidate this needs to be someone who has it, other than SSI. But you have it has to be income earned beside the SSI check so let me give you some examples of that. Other sources of income might include earnings if someone is currently working and they have some earnings the earnings can be used in a PASS plan. This might be someone who is known as a conquering beneficiary so they are receiving SSI in addition to SSDI. The SSDI check that they are receiving can count as other income. And maybe this is a veterans benefit. Maybe it is deemed income from a parent or spouse. It may even be an inheritance or who knows, could also be lottery winnings or a gift of money from a parent or family member or something like that. As long as it's income that's not the SSI, that's what we are looking for in terms of is the person even eligible for the PASS plan. This is also somebody who wants to be self-supporting. Again we come back to the name of the work incentive the plan to achieve self-support and that is the main goal behind it is that this person wants to be self-supporting, wants to be self-sufficient and less reliant on their benefits. This might be someone who is enrolled in a school or training program already. Maybe they are already using some work incentives. Maybe Gary using a work incentive like for example an impairment related work expense or IR WP maybe it can be related to a PASS plan is that it might be a person who otherwise might have the benefits reduced to two income. Of course that's not the only thing that we're looking at but it is a consideration to make. And also when we are thinking about I would be a strong PASS candidate this is also someone who has the ability either themselves or some supported their lives to help them manage a PASS plan. The PASS plan does hold participants accountable for their spending, so it definitely helps to be organized and be able to do some basic accounting as well. This is not the end-all be-all list of things to look at and the characteristics of a strong PASS candidate, but it is something that you might consider. So on slide eight, let's talk a little bit about how exactly does the PASS plan work? It is a good question. There is a PASS application. The application can be intimidating. It is 16 pages long and we will be looking a little better than at the end of the webinar today and I'm hoping to make it easier to handle because all 16 pages is not necessarily something that needs to be filled out. Not every question is going to apply to every person. But the application doesn't need to be in writing or typed. It needs to state and occupational goal. Will also need to outline all the necessary steps that the person needs to take in order to achieve the goal. It has to have a reasonable timeline, and reasonableness really is something that's going to depend on that individual. In the PASS application will detail the expenses that are necessary to achieve that work goal. And everything in the application has been reviewed and approved and monitored by the PASS specialist and the PASS specialist is a person who works for the Social Security Administration. We have several of them in California and they really are the real point person, the experts about the PASS plan and also the ones who are responsible for monitoring the PASS plans as well. At the end of the webinar today I'm going to show you where to go to get that information about what PASS specialist is covering your area and also specialists in California really are very helpful and very open to just taking a phone call and answer questions about specifics if you are kind of toying with the idea of the PASS plan. I've been mentioning occupational goals looking at PASS application and considering it, proving paying attention to the occupational goal because it must be in employment goal or work goal that is expected to generate at least enough earnings to decrease that person's reliance on benefits and increase their self-sufficiency. That is one of the main things that the PASS specialist is looking at when they are considering a PASS application. They are also looking at is this occupational goal viable and by viable I mean is it financially realistic. So this person has to have enough income to cover the PASS expenses, the living expenses and any other necessary expenses during the life of the PASS plan so essentially the question is does this person have enough money to set aside into a PASS plan in order to participant, purchase the things that they need to achieve the occupational goal. The PASS specialist is also looking to see is the occupational goal feasible. My feasible I mean a means to needs to be a reasonable goal with considerations of that individual. Does this occupational goal work for this person with these strengths in these interests in this education. So I really is a very individualized process as well. Little bit more about the occupational goal. It typically it is going to be the earliest point in a career path that would generate enough income to cover that persons living expenses and any out-of-pocket medical costs that they have. Any work-related expenses as well including the PASS expenses. Once the PASS has been completed. So this point in a career latter really is another thing that is very individualized. If you think of a career latter at a retail store for example one person may have low living expenses and so they may be able to be self-sufficient and working as a cashier where somebody else may have a higher living expense or higher medical costs that they have to pay out-of-pocket for and if we follow the career ladder along a retail store maybe they need to be at the employment level of a manager or something a little bit higher than just a cashier. In order to be able to costs that they have to live. So that is the other thing that the PASS specialist is looking at what they consider the occupational goals. Make a distinction here between occupational goals and expenses that we will talk about a little bit later on. Whoops, go back one more. With the occupational goal this is employment focused. So I get a little a lot of calls from people interested in the PASS plan and I asked them well what is your goal? And they said I would like to have my four year degree. While that is an enviable goal it is not an occupational goal. It is not in employment goal. It may be something that they need to do it may be a step they need to take in order to achieve a specific occupational goal, but getting a four-year degree itself or something similar to that is really more of a PASS expense. We will talk now little bit about PASS expenses on slide 11. A PASS expense is simply an extra cost that is incurred in pursuing an occupational goal. And when the PASS specialist is looking at the expenses in the application they are looking at them to see is this necessary to achieve this person's goal and also looking at the person to see is this a reasonable cost for this item. One common PASS expense that you will see especially for people going through training programs for school a school part of the training program it is common to see a PASS expense of a laptop when they are considering the reasonable cost they may not be looking at the top-of-the-line laptop that is out there right now when something else that is a little bit less expensive would suffice of this kind of what the PASS specialist is looking at in terms of expenses. We the expenses to win a PASS plan is approved all of the receipts have to be kept in the PASS funds have to be kept in a completely separate account and makes it easier for the PASS specialist as well as the person participating in the PASS plan to make sure that the funds are being spent appropriately and we are not running into any trouble with misusing the funds. So you might be wondering what are some examples of PASS expenses that we see pretty commonly and I have here on slide number 12 a list. This is not an exhaustive list. With the PASS plan you really can't think outside the box in terms of what you can work into a PASS plan as a PASS expense. So, some examples would be training, assistive technology, equipment and tools that a person might need for a certain job, in employment services were job coaches, attendant care or even child care expenses, transportation expenses, professional attire, such as uniforms or even close that would be appropriate for interviewing and things like that. And vehicles are also kind of a PASS expense that we see. So again, this is not an exhaustive list but it does give you kind of an idea of what kinds of things are fairly commonly worked into a PASS plan as a PASS expense. So that really is the basics of how the PASS plan works. We're going to move now to look at a couple examples so that we can get a clear idea of how exactly do PASS plan works in terms of a person's benefit amounts. As a general overview, the basic SSI calculations without consideration of a PASS plan starts with the federal benefit rates. And that is for 2011 is $674 for an individual. For an eligible couple that amount is $1011. So that is the amount that the federal government is providing to the SSI program. Now, in California like in some other states we have a high cost of living, so there is a California state supplement program and that amount that California contributes to put on top of the federal benefit amount is $156.40 for an individual and a $396.20 for a couple. So what that ends up being for the total SSI income that you typically see in California it's usually about $830.40. There is a higher rate for an individual who qualifies for SSI because of blindness. That rate is $885.40. And these rates were recently effective in July of 2011 and they do change from time to time so if it has been a while since you've picked up any sort of Social Security resource where you go to find these rates, just make sure that you are using the correct rate. Again with the basic SSI calculations, there is a general income exclusion of $20 and that is first applied to any unearned income that a person receives. If there isn't any and income such as SSDI check, the $20 exclusion is applied to a person's earned income if they have it. The first is $65 of gross earnings received each month is also not counted in addition to half of whatever is left after the exclusions. This may also be found it quite competent sounding quite complicated to at this point like I said but we are going to look at some examples to break down how the calculations work and I think it's going to help to qualify how the PASS plan is operating. So the first example we are going to be looking at an example of Jane. And Jane is a concrete beneficiary so she is receiving SSI as well as SSDI. She's not currently working which is interested in becoming a dental assistant. So the SSDI check his $300 per month and we are going to look at how the $300 affects her SSI amount and I do want to emphasize that this example does not consider a PASS plan so this is just a basic SSI calculation for someone who is in Jane's situation. She is a concrete beneficiary not working. Social Security is going to run these calculations when they determine our monthly SSI check. There going to look at the $300 that she receives in the SSDI which is categorized as unearned income.
They're going to apply the general exclusion of $20, so 300 $-20 is $280. And that is the amount of countable income that Jane's house. So, of the $300 and SSDI that Jane receives each month, Social Security is saying they are only counting $280 of that. So from there, they look at, they start with the SSI amount. Which you will remember is $830.40. And they reduce it. The adjusted by the $280 and countable income. So $830.40 $-280 and countable income leafs Jane with an SSI check of $550.40. Okay. So when we look at how much income Jane has available each month to spend we take our referral SSDI check of $300 and added to the adjusted SSI payment of $550.40 and we end up with $850.40 that she has available the each month to spend. Now, this example again does not contribute any money to a PASS plan, so this is just Jane going month to month without utilizing a PASS work incentive. So let's see what happens when we put a PASS plan into the mix. On slide 19, Jane would like to attend a dental assistant program. She qualifies for financially but still needs funds to purchase some scrubs and some other equipment that she needs. In order to be successful in that program. So she would like to write a PASS plan to find out if she can set aside some of her SSDI check to cover those costs. Let's say she set aside $280 of the SSDI and see what happens. Now we start out the same. We have the $300 and SSDI. We subtract the general income exclusion of $20. We are left with $280 and countable income. After that point is where the PASS comes in. And so let's say as Jane said, she wants to set aside $280 every month toward her PASS plan. So when we subtract that from the countable income, Jane is left with adjusted countable income of zero. So essentially what this means is of the $300 that she receives in SSDI because she is utilizing the PASS plan Social Security is not going to count any of it. So when we look at what her SSI check is going to be, we take the maximum amount in California, $830.40, but you will remember that Social Security is not counting any of her income so there is nothing to subtract from that. The result of that is that her SSI check is maximized. She's receiving a full SSI check in this example. When we look at her available income, we have the SSDI check of $300. We have a full SSI check of $830.40 but remember we need to subtract the $280 that she is contributing to the PASS plan because that is money that's going to be used to purchase her scrubs and equipment and tools that she needs. So, that results in $850.40 in total total expendable income for Jane every month. That number should sound familiar to you because she's got $830.40 with a PASS plan and that is the same amount that she had what we did the calculation without a PASS plan. So let's just showed the relationship you're a little bit better I have a side-by-side illustration on the next slide. The left-hand side you can see the calculation first with no PASS plan, just the basic SSI calculations for Jane. On the right-hand side you can see in the first section where the PASS plan comes into play. So we have at the bottom the totals. You can see that the totals are the same. You can see Jane has the same amount of money to spend each month but the huge benefit to Jane in this case is that when she is utilizing the PASS plan she's contributing April $280 per month toward her career. She is investing that in her career and future self-sufficiency with a PASS plan. One other important distinction that I would like to make here while I have the illustration up, you notice when we compare the first section on the left and right the calculations with the PASS show that Jane is actually setting aside her SSDI into the PASS plan. Often times you hear PASS to summarize or described as Social Security giving you some money to buy some stuff to go to workò What happened series Jane is setting aside her SSDI check and that is causing her SSI amount to increase. So the theory behind on this is that Social Security is saying all right we will increase your SSI check. You sent to cover your basic living expenses and then you can focus the $280 of your own SSDI check into your career. You can invest that in Jane's case into the scrubs and equipment you need to become a dental assistant. So I think that is an important distinction to make that this is Jane sitting aside her own SSDI into a PASS plan to purchase these things. I have one more example to go through really quick here and we will be looking at a different scenario. And this is jobs on slide 23. Let's say that John is an SSI recipient so he's different from Jane because he is not a common current beneficiary. He's not receiving SSI and SSDI. He's on the receiving SSI. He's currently working part-time and he wants to move up in the company that he works for. He missed to take a few classes in order to get the certification that he needs to meet the requirements for other positions. So he's got his SSI and he's also got his other income from the part-time job that he has. So from a number of perspectives job looks like he's a good candidate for a PASS plan. He can write a PASS plan to set aside some of his earned income to pay for tuition and books. Let's say he's currently earning $289 a month. Let's say John would like to put $102 of that toward his PASS plan and let's see what happens. So earned income is treated differently in the SSI calculations. Earned income for John is going to be, his earned income is going to be able to utilize both of the income exclusions in the SSI calculations so he can use the same general income exclusion I Jane used of $20 and he also is able to exclude an additional $65. So a total of $85 is subtracted from his earned gross income of $289 and that leaves us with $204. So in addition to that, the $204 is divided in half. So for the countable income for John Social Security in normal circumstances would only be counting $102 of the $289 that he earns every month. Now this example includes the PASS plan. And that is where it comes in. It's right after his earned income is divided in half. So John wants to see what happens when he contributes $102 toward the PASS plan so we're going to subtract that and that is going to leave us with adjusted countable income of zero just like in the example of Jane. So what that saying is John is earning $289 but because sees utilizing data PASS plan and he's setting aside $102 of it it's going to be to his benefit because Social Security is not going to count any of the money that he earns what they are determining his SSI check. So let's see how this works out in the end in terms of how much money John has at the end of the month. Of course it's going to be similar to Jane's example. We start with the maximum SSI amount of $830.40. You'll remember that because he's using a PASS plan Social Security is going to be counting any of the income he's earning so that's going to mean he's going to get a full SSI check. So there's nothing to deduct from my. So he has a full SSI check of $830.40. He has the earned gross income of $289 but remember we need to subtract the $102 that he's going to be dedicating toward his PASS expenses and that leaves us with $1017.40. But John, that John has available to spend each month. No I didn't do both examples for John with the PASS plan and without a PASS plan but if we had come through the calculation without a PASS plan John would have the same amount of money available to spend each month. And I have the same side-by-side illustration here of what exactly that looks like for John. On the left-hand side is the example of the calculations that John would go through if he didn't have a PASS plan and on the right side you can see the bottom of the pixies me, the bottom of the first section areas where the PASS contribution is coming into play. (Inaudible) have some of the benefits of a PASS plan. And this is something that time and time again as I've done other PASS trainings that ever driven time and time again as really the real benefits of the PASS plan. As in the two examples that we looked at with Jane and John oftentimes the person is not going to notice a difference in the available income with the PASS plan. Of course this depends on the amount that a person decides to set aside. For example if John wanted to set aside all of his income if you wanted to set aside $289 per month into the PASS plan he would notice a difference the other benefit is that there's ownership of equipment that the person purchases a Jane purchases the scrubs and other equipment she has ownership over those items and this is really a benefit especially when you think about other service providers I know at Department of rehab for example someone needs a laptop for school they might take one out on. Okay, they might not actually on the laptop whereas if they were to utilize a PASS plan they can go out, buy the laptop that's going to meet their needs and they have ownership over the laptop so that is really an important thing when we are thinking about the PASS plan. And because of that there really is a personal investment in the employment goals because that person is using their own money to buy these things so it really does make it really real for that person. The path also allows for the ability to supplement services from other agencies. So, in other words the PASS plan could never other services that other agencies cannot cover cover. Of the department of rehab we have limitations on what type of training plans or schools we can cover somebody utilizing a PASS plan may have some are opportunities to you know, look at private schools in some of the more expensive accelerated programs the department of rehab can't typically cover. But if they have enough money to set aside to cover those costs using a PASS plan it might open up some other opportunities for them and they can supplement some of the services that they are receiving from other agencies. PASS plan also offers an alternative to traditional PR services which I think is an important offices option. It also allows for self-directed employment plans and it's also really a viable option for self employment goals. It's just another resource that is available to people who are eligible for SSI. You know if they have some other income and picture they might be able to start saving up some extra money to start up their own business without having to worry about that savings conflicting with their eligibility for SSI when it gets to that $2000 resource limit Mark. Okay, so the PASS plan really is a great work incentive. But again I will emphasize that it is something that takes some dedication and it also takes some accounting. And some willpower, right? If someone has $5000 Empire PASS account we need to make sure that they are using it appropriately. They are not spending $5000 on a vacation but they are spending it on the things that they need, that the PASS specialist has approved them to spend on in their PASS plans. Okay? So we've talked a little bit about the PASS specialist role but I do want to emphasize that these are the individuals who are making the decisions on the PASS plans and the implications, applications. They are monitoring the PASS and the conducting of the final accounting. They are asking the PASS participant for all the necessary information. And they are also discussing any modifications or amendments are needed. PASS really does have the ability to be flexible to. Of course things in life, that we don't expect and there may be any foreperson to kind of put the PASS plan on hold while they get the other things in their life on order and that is something definitely got a PASS that can be modified or revised to accommodate as long as the person is working really closely with the PASS specialist to let them and keep them informed of what's going on. The PASS specialist is also going to be corrugated with other service providers when a mutual consumer is involved. And a slight 30 I have kind of an interesting quote from the actual PASS regulations. I'm going to read it here. It says the legislative history shows that Congress expressed a desire to provide every opportunity and encouragement to blind and disabled to return to gainful employment. Congress intended that the PASS provision be liberally construed necessary if necessary to accomplish these objectives. And I think that it's pretty common to hear you know, that the motto of the PASS specialist is don't deny, modify. And I think it is rare to see a regulations open up in this way to say that it's okay to liberally construe some of these regulations that we are presenting. If it is to the benefit of that person and is going to result in them you know, being successful and gainful employment so I think that's really interesting and that's part of the PASS specialist's role is to use the regulations as a guideline but to also have the ability to make the PASS plans very individualized and very specific to each person's needs and really give them the benefit of the doubt. Having said that I do not want there to be any misconceptions about you know, not everyone who applies for a PASS plan is going to be approved. Most recent numbers that I have, the national average approval rate of a PASS plan is about 52%. I do know that it is higher than that in California. One of the common reasons a PASS plan is denied is just because the person doesn't have enough money to set aside to cover the costs of the expensive expenses they said they've outlined in the PASS application or of course that they are just not eligible they don't have any income to set aside or perhaps they aren't eligible for the SSI programs. So we do need to remind consumers or remind beneficiaries of a PASS plan is not necessarily a guarantee but definitely if you've got a strong candidate who would really benefit from a PASS plan it is definitely worth a point so that you can really see the benefits of a PASS plan. Okay. So we're going to look now at an example of what exactly a PASS application looks like. And you can see here that there are several parts to the PASS application but I want to assure you that I really do meet in the bones of the PASS application so to speak is in the first five parts. So the first part is where the person is describing the work goal or occupational goal the second part is about the medical vocational educational background. The third part is what is your plan? How are you going to achieve the work goal?, The fourth part is expensive expenses in the fifth part is funding for your ballpark goal. The first five sessions are the main sections of the PASS plan and the others are really just contacted remarks in the agreements and things like that. So I'm going to bring up an example here of a PASS plan for us to look at as long as I am able to get it appear on my desktop. Give me just a second. And this is also something that Karla sent out an e-mail that went out to all of those of you who had registered. The PowerPoint along with the sample PASS plan and some resources always talk to you as well. So this is probably something that you have in your e-mails if you wanted to look at it at a later point. But the plan, the PASS application that I have here is an example if we had followed Jane in the first example through her process of applying for a passport. The first question is just asking what is your goal, what is your workable, what do you to be? Your member from the first example that Jane's goal was to become a dental assistant. And you will also notice as we go through this that there's quite a few questions in this example at least that don't really apply to Jane. So some of the 16 pages that initially can be intimidating really can become more manageable is the person goes to this and realizes that it's not quite as labor-intensive as maybe we originally thought because there are so many questions that we can just skip right by. So the next question asks can you describe the duties and tasks that you expect to perform in this job? So Jane entered here she's going to be doing some customer service, billing, this is the dentist with dental procedures, sanitizing equipment, just the basic things that a dental assistant would be doing. It also asks how did you decide on this worker: and what makes this type of work attractive to you? And to Jane said that she enjoys working with people especially children. A career as a dental assistant will allow me to work with a variety of people, this job also pay enough money for me to become self-sufficient prints of that is always something that is very important to consider. It asks how much she expects to earn as a dental assistant. Is a license required? These really are just checkboxes and fill in the blank. Pretty simple to complete. There are, PASS specialists do see quite a few self-employment fascicles so there are some specific questions relating to self-employment. In addition to filling out that information a person also does have to submit a business plan for their self-employment goal. Of course that's not the case for Jane. So we can skip right by that. It also asks if the person has had a PASS plan in the PASS. The other neat thing about a PASS plan is that a person can have more than one, not at the same time of course, but if they complete one PASS plan and they find out that they want to make a career change or they have some are expenses that they'd like to utilize a PASS plan before they can utilize the PASS plan and have a second one as well. Not the case for Jane so we can skip right by that. In this first section also it's asking about the ticket to work program in terms of what organization Jane's ticket might be assigned to. And then we enter into part two, and part two is the medical, vocational, educational background. So it asks Jane to list all of her disabling illnesses injuries and conditions and for Jane she writes dyslexia and bipolar disorder. And then it asks an important question, discriminate limitations that you have because of your disability. And so Jane writes episodes of hypomania and depression limited by anxiety and stress. Trouble consistently following through with tasks, difficulty reading and writing. So these are all things that are pretty typical of her just disabilities of dyslexia and bipolar disorder but it is explained there for the PASS specialist. And it also asks a might of these limitations how will you carry out the duties of your work goal? So Jane has explained that my bipolar symptoms are well controlled with medication and frequent doctor visits along with adequate rest and stress relief techniques. She works with a tutor who has helped her read and write better. To help with the dyslexia. Okay. It also asks for a job history. And so I have just filled in a couple examples of things that you might see that is typical of someone like Jane. Maybe she's got some customer service representative experience and some other things like that because the PASS specialists wants to know if you have worked before what kinds of work were you involved in. Are there some transferable skills there that is going to help me with this current occupational goals that you are going for. It's also asking about any sort of educational background that Jane has. And so you can see here that she's indicated that she has completed 12.. So she's graduated from high school. She doesn't have a postgraduate degree or any other special job training. It also asks if she's working with the Department of rehab within individualized plan for employment or any other sort of agency that has some sort of employment plan. And it asks to it attached that information. One reason we want to make sure that that step is completed is because especially with Department of rehab or any other service providers the PASS specialist needs to be aware of what if expenses are being covered by other agencies. So that's one reason why the individuals plan from a minority IPE is something the PASS specialist asks the beneficiary to attach if it applies to them. And then we skip breakout into section 3. You can see us we are going through this it is going pretty quick. There's lots of things that don't really apply to Jane so we can skip right by them and we are already on to part three which is her plan. And this is just asking what steps are you going to take. When are you going to take them, when are you going to have them completed by in order to become a dental assistant. In order to achieve the occupational goal. So I vendor just as an example she's going to apply for the dental assisting program. She's also going to apply for financial aid. She's going to purchase her scrubs and other equipment, begin those courses, start her internship. Take the state tests and received a certificate and start the job search. These are pretty typical steps that you would see for someone who is looking for work as a dental assistant. Got to get those certifications of course first before you can actually meet the minimum qualifications to become employed as a dental assistant. So those are the basic steps that Jane has got there filled out as an example. And we are moving right along to part for which is where she will detail all of the expenses. And because vehicles and computers are pretty common things that people write down as PASS expenses there are some specific questions around vehicles and around computers. In Jane's example we are not going to be dealing with a vehicle or computer. So a lot of this she's going to be able to skip right by. Whoops, I scrolled a little bit, let me get back to where I was here. Okay. So we were looking at the pages that are asking some specific questions about a computer. Which are not going to apply to her. So it's all the way down here under section D of this section where she is going to start filling out all the other item in items or services or training that she would like to purchase in order to become a dental assistant. So she's got scrubs, she's got cost associated with that. She is estimated that around $250. It's asking her who is going to be, where are you going to be buying the scrubs from and it looks like in this example Jane found a good deal online, so that is the vendor or provider for the scrubs and she's going to do this in a one-time payment. So it's important for the PASS specialist to know with these expenses is this something that you are going to save up for and by with one payment are you going to make monthly payments or financing it so that is something that is asked about each of the expenses. It also asking Jane house is going to help you reach your work goal. So for the example of scrubs she needs to address it scrubs during dental assistant training as well as during the internship and employment. So that really justifies why the expense is there because it is something that she needs in order to be successful as a dental assistant. And then of course she has dental tools and equipment that she has listed here in the same way. She's got the cost associated with it as well as a justification that she's going to need the dental tools to help her practice and do her homework and become familiar with them. So, this one, the example of Jane really is quite a simple one because she just has those 20 was expenses identified. There's obviously room for more if someone has other items or more services that they would like to work into a PASS plan as well. Now, it also asks about Jane's current living expenses. This is helping the PASS specialist to make a determination about viability. You will remember is this financially realistic? Is Jane going to have enough money well she's participating in the PASS plan to cover her living expenses. So that's why this is part of the PASS application. And the last part that really is asking for maybe some research and information is part five, or funding for your work goals. So it asks if Jane plans to use anything that she already owns. So she has here listed a computer, which allows her to do homework and a vehicle which allows her to get to and from training and eventually the interviews and work that will result of course hopefully result from participating in the PASS plan. So it's just asking do you already have some things in place that are going to be helping you to achieve this goal. And then it is asking about what kind of income Jane receives. So you remember that she has the SS. Check of $300 that she gets monthly she identified that. This is what the PASS specialist is looking at to see what other source of income does Jane have besides the SSI check that she can use to set aside into the PASS plan. If she had earnings or any other income it would also be listed there. It asks her how were you going to be keeping these funds separate, the PASS phones from the SSI check or any other money so she has an explanation there that she's going to open a separate checking account so that is also taken care of and then the last part here is asking about other sources of income or other service providers are going to be helping Jane to achieve this goal so in this example you remember that Jane qualified for financial aid so she has the FAFSA listed there and that is going to be covering the dental assisting us tuition. She has the amount there as well and in this example Jane happens to be a consumer of Department of rehab. So Department of rehab is going to be covering the cost of the books. And the amount is listed there as $1000 just as an example. So the PASS specialist is very interested in knowing who's going to be purchasing loud dancer by outlining it here the PASS specialist knows that, okay, the department of rehab is going to be covering the book so we don't need to include that as a PASS expense. We don't need to include the tuition for the dental assistant program because somebody else is already covering that. So again, those are the first five sections of the real meat in poems, the questions that may require a little bit of research to answer. These other questions are about contacts, did someone help Jane prepared this plan? Keep in contact with them to let them know if it was approved or denied. Things like that. And then the rest of it, there's a section. She needs some extra room or if she wants to make any notes thereto the PASS specialist she's got the room to do that. And of course the terms and agreements of the PASS plan and just some of the other generic things that are typically associated with a form like this. Okay? So if I can't get back to the PowerPoint here…PASS application has all of these different parts and it is 16 pages long for the example of Jane a pretty simple scenario we were able to skip a lot of the questions because they didn't apply to our so it really is something that is manageable. They can be broken down into sections you can work out individually wanted the time and there a lot of resources for people to go to for help in writing the PASS plan as well. And some of those resources are listed here in this last, the last slide of the PowerPoint and also for those of you who received the e-mail there was a resource list attached to the e-mail that went out yesterday confirming the webinar today so that all of that information is there also for you. The first link is for the PASS cadre, or the PASS specialist and this is where you would go to find the most up-to-date information about the PASS specialist in your area. And again, take you to the website and show you exactly what it looks like. one second here to set up the tour. So I just put that link into the Internet and it brings you up for the different regions here for those of us in California. The region nine offices located in San Francisco. So we would click on the San Francisco link and you can see here that there's a list of the phone numbers for the PASS specialists in these areas. So all of California along with a few other states are covered by these press specialists and this just happens to be where they are located. There's actually two of them in Anaheim. So if you were in Los Angeles or orange county, Kern County, Ventura County, that's who the PASS specialist is the one in Anaheim office so we have the contact information there for them as well as the other PASS specialists from the other regions. And I'm going to show you one more resource really quickly here. Many of you are probably familiar with disability benefits 101.org. Or DP 101.org. Which is what I typed into the web address bar here. And so this is something that we have in California that really is a valuable resource. I've got the homepage appear and this is another resource that people have to go to for more information about the PASS plan. So if I click, programs tab on the home page you can see on the section that is titled work programs, one of the first links there is a plan for achieving self-support. So if I click on that we have the basic information about the PASS plan as well as the table of contents section here breaks out some of the details. There are frequently asked questions, what are some of the pitfalls, where are some of my resources and things like that. So that's really a valuable tool for more information for people who are interested and are they eligible for a PASS plan, is this something that's going to work for them. So this is another great resource.the PASS application, the link to the application of mine is also on the resources listed here as well as I will draw your attention to the second to last bullet there for the work incentives planning and assistance projects, or W I PA, each project is a community work incentives coordinator or a CW I seem and many of those are a good resource to go to for help writing a PASS program, so that's what resource that's available for people interested in the PASS program to see if that something that they can help, that's a place where they could go to get some help in writing a PASS plan. So I do want to emphasize that the link is there which brings you to a directory of the W I PA providers in your area. I also have here my contact information if you needed any information from me. The best way to do that is to go to this e-mail address which is DGW info@TLR.ca.GOP. If you have some specific questions for me about PASS or even Department of rehab services that is the best e-mail to get me at. So that really does wrap up the basics of the PASS plan and a webinar today. I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to Karla at this point and she's going to I believe explained how the question and answer session is going to work. So take away, Karla.

>>  Thanks so much, Megan, and hi, everybody. Now the chat window is now open for your questions. So if you have any questions, go ahead and type your question into the text entry area which is the white box at the very bottom on the left hand side of the page below the chat window. So, go ahead and enter your questionnaire and then when you are ready you can go ahead and click enter or return on your keyboard to submit questions.

>>  Okay, thank you, Karla and we will go ahead and give you a couple minutes to compile your questions and kind of digest all the info that we have gone over today I know that it's definitely a lot of information to take in in just an hour and a half but we do have almost a full 20 min. to answer any questions that you might have. So go ahead and take it away. Okay, so I see the first question here from Christy. The question is I heard that there was a list of eligibility requirements for the PASS. Are these requirements a and or, to which appointment, and if you are referring to the things I identified in the things that make a person a strong PASS candidate, those are things to consider. Necessarily a requirement, but the requirements for a PASS plan is to be eligible for SSI and to have income other than SSI. And that is really the to basic requirements. Of the PASS plan. Christy I hope that answers your question if you need more information just go ahead and type in a follow-up question to that. And let me get to the next question, here. Okay, so the next question if I'm reading the name right it looks like it's from Dale. However (inaudible) I'm glad you brought it up since we had some time to talk about it at the end of the webinar today. The person who is only receiving SSI may be able to become eligible for SSI by utilizing a PASS plan. So typically the reason why a person would be receiving homely SSDI and not SSI is because they either have too much money in the bank so they are over the resource limit that the SSI program has order their SSDI check is more than the SSI check so if the SSDI check is $850 or little bit more than not that that's automatically going to put their earnings, or put the income at a point where they are automatically not eligible for the SSI program. So in those two examples if the person either agrees to put their, if they have more than $2000 in the bank account that is putting them over the resource limit for SSI they can put that money into a PASS plan or they can set aside part of their SSDI check into a PASS plan. And that is going to bring their income and their resources to a level where they may be eligible for SSI at that point. Therefore they may be eligible for a PASS plan as well. The one thing I will caution you with on that in the example where someone who's receiving and SSDI check of, let's use the example of $850, that person is probably going to have to be able to survive on just the maximum SSI check amount. So that's little over $830. So someone who's used to receiving NSS I check of $850, that's not a huge adjustment. But, if we look at an example of someone who's receiving $1200 in SSDI or more, maybe $2000 in SSDI in order to make it work the person would have to society significant amount of their SSDI check and probably going to have to live on just the SSI check of Jesse hundred $30.40 every month. But they do have the benefit of being able to set aside a very large portion of the SS the I checked to be used toward their career goals. So if it's something that the person needs to make an informed choice about but it is possible, so Dale, I hope that answered your questions. If not again, just follow-up and I'm more than happy to clarify. That to I mentioned early on that that is the case that we see less frequently, but that is something to the the PASS specialist really can give you some direct guidance if that's going to work or not because the person would have to turn in the SSI application at the same time they turn in the PASS application. So if you yourself are in that scenario or if you are working with someone in that scenario go ahead and give the PASS specialist a call because they are always more than happy to take the time to explain what exactly the effects are going to be if you do qualify for the PASS plan. And then I have Erica with the same question there about the PASS plan using SSDI alone in special cases so hopefully Erica that help answer that question for you. Okay, and then Jenny has a question. You had mentioned that with SSI there is a limit of $2000 that you can have in your account. Is there a limit if you are receiving SSDI am that's a very good question. SSI has resource limits and the resource limit is $2000 for an individual. That's because SSI is a needs-based program. SSDI is not needs-based so there are no resource limits for SSDI. They can have more than $2000 they can have as much money as they want in a bank account can still be eligible for SSDI so very good question. Monica is asking is there a minimum contribution for the PASS account? And there is not. It's really going to depend on how much income other than their SSI check a person has to set aside into a PASS plan and still be able to meet their needs. So still be able to cover the cost that they have the basic living expenses. So it's also going to be something that the PASS specialist is going to consider some of the be able to set aside let's say $20 or $50 a month, how long is it going to take them to accomplish that work: especially if they are looking to buy things that are expensive. It would take quite a while to purchase a vehicle for example, $20 at a time or $50 at a time so that really is something that the PASS specialist is considering and there is also a possibility in some cases to make a PASS plan richer activity and there really is something that I encourage you to contact the PASS specialist in your area directly to talk about whether or not a person would qualify to have a richer active PASS plan but sometimes it really works to that person's advantage because they can, the PASS specialist can make it retroactive if they've had some expenses associated with that work goal prior to actually applying to the PASS plan and it can result in sort of a lump sum of money as if they had been setting aside all of the time so they have some tricks of the trade that they can utilize to help make that happen. So for someone with a limited amount of income to set aside into the PASS plan that might be something that's possible but again contact the PASS specialist to find out a little bit more about that would see what other questions we've got you guys have great questions. Linda, Ireland, is asking what happens if a person happens to follow through fails to follow through with the PASS plan. That's a great question if someone has essentially stopped contacting the PASS specialist or is not following the PASS plan as agreed the PASS specialist may terminate the PASS plan and the way that works with anything that they have already purchased is not something that's going to be taken back but if they still have PASS funds in the separate PASS account that is something that Social Security will probably be asking to have them return. Now in the case where someone may be misusing their firms like I gave the example if someone uses the PASS funds to go on a vacation instead of using it for the things that PASS specialist has approved that is a misuse of funds so that's going to be processed as an overpayment and those are always sticky situations so if we can avoid that it is definitely best. But yes a PASS fund can be terminated if someone is not following it. It may just also be suspended. Let's say something comes up in a person's life and they have to put the PASS plan on hold so the PASS plan can be suspended as well. Very good question, Linda. Okay, that Joey has a question. You mentioned that it's possible to have $5000 in a PASS account. This money is not expected the claim to lose their medical. Okay I think I know what you are asking. For the Medi-Cal program there's also the $2000 asset limit and the PASS plan as long as they have the approved PASS plan it's not going to approve their eligibility for Medi-Cal as well. So that's a very good point to bring up. Pamela is asking does the client have to be in training to qualify for a PASS plan and the answer to that is no. That might be an indicator of someone who is a good PASS candidate if they've already shown some interest in exploring training or starting some training, but it is not a requirement, so somebody can enter training after a PASS plan has started or depending on the occupational goal they may not need any training or school so it's not a requirement to already be in training for a PASS plan. Good question, though. The next question is from L Taylor. Is there an age limit? And what if you are on Social Security also. I'm thinking that you are meeting SSDI, but correct me if I'm wrong on that. So, there is kind of an age limit. They recommend that the PASS specialist is not going to consider someone who is younger than 15 as a strong PASS candidate but anyone over the age of 15 and who is receiving SSI and be eligible for a PASS plan. And the upper age limit I believe is either 65 466. And if someone starts a PASS plan and they are 64 they are receiving SSI and they continue to receive SSI would be turn 65 or 66 they continue the PASS plan as long as it started before the age requirement cutoff. And then followed to that question was what if you are also on I believe you are referring to SSDI and that is actually an ideal situation for a PASS candidate because they really are, in terms of the numbers working it can't be a really simple move to just take the SSDI amount and use that for the PASS contribution and then have the SSI amount to just up to make up for the difference. And let's see, currently is asking what are some unusual examples of PASS plan requests. That's a very good question. You know I've run into a couple of interesting PASS plan but I bet if you asked the PASS specialist in your area they would have special, several others. We've had PASS plans where people have been able to kind of come up with really creative self-employment pans. One interesting
one that I remember was a PASS applicant who was in Southern California and she qualified for SSI based on blindness, but she made these really intricate really beautiful jewelry boxes out of several shells and things like that that she found on the beach as well as some other materials that that was the self-employment goal was to sell the items and it's been a couple of years since I've checked in with her but initially when I was just getting up and running she was really making a profit. She was selling these things so it was quite interesting to see that something like that would be successful. She definitely had the right clientele. Some other interesting things have included PASS expenses like travel expenses like a flight to New York for an interview and things like that. Because that's an extra expense that is incurred while a person is looking for a job. So really the PASS plan you can think outside of the box in terms of what qualifies as a PASS expensive what an occupational goal is. So that's a good question. I'm sure the PASS specialist in your area would have a full list of interesting PASS plan said they have run across. Marsha is asking how can a PASSime or for a young man who is conserved his parents are trying to set up some small business opportunities for him? That's a good question. The parents are probably the representative payee's for that person, but that might still work. The only thing is that the PASS application would have to be a joint effort between the young man that you have in mind along with his parents as the representative payee's, they would have to dedicate those funds to be set aside to be used to start his own small business. So it is a parent that he has a support from his parents to help manage the PASS plan but in terms of how it would work it really would not be that different than any other PASS plan in terms of if he's got another source of income maybe as parents would like to contribute a gift of income into the PASS plan and that's definitely something that can happen in terms of any, it sounds like you have a specific person in mind this so I encourage you to contact the PASS specialist and run the specifics of that by and they will be able to give you more guidance in terms of how exactly that works. We have some great questions it looks like we've got about 3 min. left. So I'm going to continue to answer questions up until three o'clock and at that point if you still have some questions that you, that I wasn't able to get to I would encourage you to just send me a quick e-mail to the e-mail address that some resource slide and I can also always answer Karla brought it up there GDW info@TLR.ca.GOP. And I would be more than happy to answer any questions that I was not able to get to it time with a webinar today. Let's see what else we could get to. Nina is asking what happens when the PASS plan is approved? Do the PASS cadres guide and follow up on each client to see that the client is actively pursuing the plan. What happens when the client is having difficulty pursuing the plan. What's next? That's a very good question. Yes the PASS specialist will be monitoring the PASS plan at least every six months for beneficiaries who are involved in school or on semester-based training. Most PASS specialist will check in at least on a semester basis kind of matching up with the milestones of that plan. So they are looking for what money did you spend? Where are your receipts? I need to see the bank account statement so they can make an accounting of how all of the money was spent. What was purchased and how it was used. So it is at that point the PASS specialist addresses any issues that are coming up. So if they are misusing funds or not following the plan maybe Dave dropped out halfway through this master of college or something like that at that point the PASS specialist really does have some options to revise or amend the PASS plans or suspend it depending on what else the person has going on in their life. They also have the option to terminate the PASS plan but usually they will give the consumer the benefit of the doubt and really take some time to make it work if they can. So that's a very good question, Nina. And let's see if I could maybe get to one more. Question here. Okay, this is a good question from Todd. If a consumer has a PASS plan in place is it transferable to a new address in another city, county or state and that's a very good question because PASS is a Social Security work incentive it is federal so it is nationwide. So if somebody is moving to another city, county or state that PASS plan is transferable and depending on how far away they are moving they may actually change PASS specialists but if they are still in that area of coverage they will probably stick with the same PASS specialist but it is kind of an interesting note to make that if they are moving to another state different states have different SSI rates than Californians so that is one thing to consider if you are moving to another state that the SSI rate that you are receiving might be different. Under the Social Security rolls. So we are at three o'clock right now so I'm going to go ahead and handed back over to Karla who is going to talk about the CRC credits. Like I said if you have a question I wasn't able to get to go ahead and e-mail me. I am more than happy to answer them via e-mail and I certainly appreciate all of you hanging in there with all this information and I hope that you are able to put it to good use.

Thank you so much, Megan. Great presentation. And I want to thank all of our participants today for your excellent questions. And also a big thanks to our caption are today, Mary, and to the text: tactical systems as well here at interwork. Please note that all of the webinars are archived at the talent knows no limits website in the slides are now the last webinar archive is where you can find the archives. The power points, the webinar recording and transcript will be available on this site at least one weekend usually is up there within a couple days. We also will be following up with all the participants to you by sending out a survey via e-mail in the first link on the site is a link to the survey in thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and also the e-mail will include the info on how to find the link to our certified rehab counselor credit squeeze. The link is also here on the site. So again if you're interested in certified rehab counseling or CRC credits, this link, the second link down the slide will take you to our short five question multiple-choice quiz. You will need to get 100% of the quiz but you can definitely retry if you don't the first time. And also a short survey with that as well and we will put your information there. And also we will follow up with you like I said with an e-mail that has information as well and I want to thank everybody so much for joining us on the webinar today. We look forward to seeing you again in the future webinars and of course we will send an announcement out when the first one, next scheduled and you can always find information about the webinar and registration on the talent knows no limits website www.talent knows no limits.info. Thanks everybody for joining us today and once again thank you Megan for demystifying the PASS plan for everybody today. Take care.