Question of the Month: “What Happens After My SSI Case Is Approved?”

April 3, 2024

Because qualifying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can be a long and exhaustive process, when you win your case it’s natural to breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to getting on with your life.

But the Social Security Administration (SSA) isn’t done with you just yet.

In most cases, the SSA will schedule an interview to do a financial review to determine the amount of your monthly benefits payments. This is called a “pre-effectuation review conference” (which is mouthful, so we’ll refer to it by its acronym, PERC). A PERC is typically conducted as a phone interview with an SSA representative.

Because of the lengthy approval process, Social Security will want to confirm that your situation hasn’t changed and ensure that you still meet the non-medical qualifications for SSI benefits.

Usually about a month after you’ve been notified that you were approved for SSI benefits, you will get a notice in the mail regarding your PERC interview. Completing the PERC interview is mandatory, and your SSI benefits will not begin until after you have completed your PERC.

If you don’t participate, your benefits most likely will be taken away. If a representative payee is required, it’s important for them to participate in this interview with you.

During the PERC, you will be asked many questions, which may include:

  • Rechecking your income and countable assets
  • Updating and verifying your other non-medical documentation (like birth certificates or leases)
  • Asking about living arrangements and changes in your marital status
  • Asking about any work you have done since developing a disability
  • Documenting any changes to your case that could affect your eligibility

Prior to the interview, you’ll want to gather all documents related to these issues, so you’re prepared to answer these questions fully and correctly.

The documentation you want at your fingertips may include checking and savings account statements, rent agreements, mortgage payments, car payments, vehicle titles, loan statements, documents showing any public assistance you receive, and payroll information for any jobs you’ve had since you filed your application.

Another portion of the PERC will determine how payments will be made to you. SSI payments for past benefits, or back pay,” will be made in installments many months apart.

SSI will confirm the schedule of those benefits during the PERC call. So that Social Security knows where to deposit your back pay, you will need to provide the SSA representative with your bank account information. If you don’t have a bank account, open a checking or savings account before the meeting.

A PERC interview only happens when SSI benefits are awarded. It does not take place after you are only awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

We cannot overemphasize this: The PERC is vital to receiving your hard-won SSI benefits. It is just one more part of the complex Social Security Disability system and one more reason to have a knowledgeable disability attorney by your side.

If you can’t work because of health impairments and are considering filing for benefits, or if you have been turned down for benefits, Nash Disability Law can help. We offer a free evaluation of your situation, and we only get paid when you win your case. We’re Chicagoland’s top disability law firm.

Contact our team of disability lawyers today.