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Success! Next Steps

Congratulations! The applicant has been approved and you two are doing the “SOAR dance” (or your choice of celebratory activity). A number of follow-up items need to be addressed.


Once you've submitted your application packet, it is reviewed by SSA and DDS. When SSA receives the medical decision from DDS, they will confirm the decision and send a letter to the applicant and the representative. The letter will indicate which program(s) he or she has been approved for.
  • The letter will indicate the date of onset for SSDI and when benefits begin
  • The letter will indicate the date of eligibility for SSI
  • The beneficiary may be required to have a representative payee
  • The beneficiary may be required to attend a Pre-effectuation Review Contact (PERC) interview (see below)
Helpful Tip: Share SSA's comprehensive guide to SSI with beneficiaries: What you need to know when you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (PDF)

SSDI: Date of Onset

DDS will determine the applicant’s date of onset of disability and send that information to SSA with the decision.
  • SSA uses the date of onset to determine when payments start
  • There is a 5-month waiting period from the date of onset
  • SSA will pay up to 12 months of benefits retroactive from the protective filing date up to the date of potential eligibility (date of onset plus 5 months)
  • More information about the SSDI date of onset may be found in Class 2, Article 4 of the SOAR Online Course: Protective Filing Date and Establishing Date of Eligibility

Next Steps

Representative Payees

Representative payees are individuals designated by SSA to help manage a recipient’s benefits. Individuals are required to have a representative payee if they are deemed unable to manage their own funds due to impaired cognitive ability, substance use, prior mismanagement, or other issues.
  • DDS will make a recommendation about the need for a representative payee
  • Doctors can indicate a need for a representative payee on the SSA-787
  • SSA claims representatives will work with the claimant to determine if they still need a payee
  • Beneficiaries are asked to name who they wish to be their payee
  • Some organizational representative payees are authorized to charge a fee set by SSA

Pre-effectuation Review Contact (PERC) Interview

SSA may need to meet with the person to update their file and verify non-medical documentation (e.g., lease, birth certificate, pay stubs) at a PERC interview.
  • SSA will send a letter requesting the beneficiary to come in for an interview.  Call to find out what non-medical documentation is needed 
  • SSA will inquire about things that may have changed, including income, resources, and living arrangements 
  • If a representative payee is required, it is helpful for them to attend this interview to sign the necessary paperwork

Electronic Payments

All Federal benefit recipients are required to receive their payments via an electronic payment method.
  • They can use direct deposit into a bank account
  • They can sign up for a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®
  • More information is available on the Direct Express website.

Managing Back Payments

Individuals whose applications were pending for some time may have significant back-payment awards. 
  • SSI payments begin from the first full calendar month following the protective filing date
  • SSI recipients will be given a certain amount of time to spend this additional income before it is counted as a resource
  • SSA will determine whether the back payment is paid all at once or in installments
  • Help individuals spend this money to help pay off debts; purchase a home, furniture, household goods or a vehicle; or pursue other goals

Avoiding and Managing SSI/SSDI Overpayments

Overpayments may occur when a beneficiary receives more money for a month than the amount he/she should have been paid, and this can cause undue hardship for beneficiaries. For more information, read our article on Avoiding and Managing SSI/SSDI Overpayments.

SOAR Resource

 For guidance on navigating many of the common post-entitlement events that occur for SSI/SSDI beneficiaries, see our SSI/SSDI Post-Entitlement Events Guide.


Adult Course
October, 2016

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