The PERC Interview

Posted February 11, 2016 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® What is the PERC Interview?

Many claimants who are awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be required to attend a “pre-effectuation review conference,” which is commonly referred to as a PERC interview. The purpose of the PERC interview is for SSA to confirm a claimant’s income and resources do not exceed the technical requirements for receiving SSI benefits.

When is the PERC Interview?

If you are scheduled for a PERC interview, it is extremely important that you attend. Missing the PERC interview can delay payment of your benefits and may even lead to your claim being closed out. SSA generally will send you notice of your PERC interview approximately a month after the determination that you are disabled. If you are struggling with dire financial circumstances, you do not necessarily have to wait for SSA to schedule this interview. You should contact SSA and find out if they can schedule something sooner.

What should I bring to my PERC?

From a general standpoint, you should bring any documentation that verifies your assets and income. Commonly requested documents by SSA include:
• Bank Statements
• Deeds/Titles to property and/or automobiles
• Lease agreements
• Tax returns
• Loan documents

This list is by no means exhaustive. The documentation required by SSA is dependent on the individual claimant’s circumstances. For example, one special circumstance that often arises is when a claimant is living rent free with a friend or a relative. SSA typically looks at this living arrangement as “in-kind” support and they may reduce that person’s benefit amount unless that person can prove there is an agreement in place to repay the rental amounts with their benefit proceeds. If this agreement is in writing, it is a good idea for the claimant to bring this agreement with them to the PERC interview. If not, the claimant may want to bring the person from whom they are renting to the PERC with them.

Additional Items to Remember

There are generally two types of PERC interviews: limited and full. A limited PERC is done when SSA only needs to review a few specific issues. They are commonly used when SSA finds that expediting the PERC process is appropriate. Limited PERCs are most often used when the claimant suffers from a terminal illness, qualifies for a compassionate allowance, blindness claims, and presumptive disability claims. A full PERC is the more commonly used method of conducting this interview. A full PERC will more thoroughly look at a claimant’s income, assets, and living situation to determine if anything would impact their benefit amount.

A claimant can have both a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pending at the same time. While the SSDI program does not require a PERC interview, the SSI program does require this additional step to receive benefits. Claimants who are eligible for both benefits should be proactive in following up with SSA to make sure this interview is scheduled so that they receive the maximum amount of benefits they can.

Contact SSA with any Questions

The PERC is often the last step before a claimant receives benefits.  Claimants have waited long enough just to get to this step, it is important to take this interview seriously and come prepared.  The link below can be used to find your local SSA office.  Do not be afraid to ask your local SSA office any questions about this process.

By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®