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What does a PERC have to do with your SSI claim?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Disability claim applications |

You filed your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim a long time ago — and then you waited and waited some more as it wound its way through one or more levels of appeal. Now, suddenly you’ve received notice that you need a pre-effectuation review contact interview, or PERC.

What does this mean for your claim? Here’s what you should know:

A PERC is good news for your claim

Because SSI disability claims are part of a needs-based system, similar to SNAP benefits and Medicaid, Social Security was required to “screen” you for financial eligibility for the program before ever considering the disability portion of your claim. 

That abbreviated screening process was, at best, incomplete even at the time it was taken. Since it has already been several months (or even more than a year) since you filed your claim, even the minimal data the Social Security Administration (SSA) collected about your living situation and financial resources may now be outdated.

Why is SSA asking for you to update your file now? Because there’s every indication that your claim either has been approved or that the approval will soon occur. The letter requesting a PERC interview is usually the first sign that the disability portion of your claim has been approved. Now, you merely need to have the financial information in your file updated and completed.

Your local SSA office may send you a letter requesting a PERC interview after receiving a notice that your claim has been medically approved either through a reconsideration or by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who heard your appeal. In rare cases, PERCs are requested based on preliminary data that indicates the disability portion of a claim is likely to be approved — but that doesn’t guarantee an actual approval.

While it’s normal to feel some anxiety about a PERC interview, the SSA claims representative will walk you through the process and explain what you need to do. However, if you run into a problem with your SSI claim, then make sure you reach out for more experienced guidance.