§ 404.1725. Request for approval of a fee.

(a) Filing a request. In order for your representative to obtain approval of a fee for services he or she performed in dealings with us, he or she shall file a written request with one of our offices. This should be done after the proceedings in which he or she was a representative are completed. The request must contain—

(1) The dates the representative's services began and ended;

(2) A list of the services he or she gave and the amount of time he or she spent on each type of service;

(3) The amount of the fee he or she wants to charge for the services;

(4) The amount of fee the representative wants to request or charge for his or her services in the same matter before any State or Federal court;

(5) The amount of and a list of any expenses the representative incurred for which he or she has been paid or expects to be paid;

(6) A description of the special qualifications which enabled the representative, if he or she is not an attorney, to give valuable help in connection with your claim; and

(7) A statement showing that the representative sent a copy of the request for approval of a fee to you.

(b) Evaluating a request for approval of a fee. (1) When we evaluate a representative's request for approval of a fee, we consider the purpose of the social security program, which is to provide a measure of economic security for the beneficiaries of the program, together with—

(i) The extent and type of services the representative performed;

(ii) The complexity of the case;

(iii) The level of skill and competence required of the representative in giving the services;

(iv) The amount of time the representative spent on the case;

(v) The results the representative achieved;

(vi) The level of review to which the claim was taken and the level of the review at which the representative became your representative; and

(vii) The amount of fee the representative requests for his or her services, including any amount authorized or requested before, but not including the amount of any expenses he or she incurred.

(2) Although we consider the amount of benefits, if any, that are payable, we do not base the amount of fee we authorize on the amount of the benefit alone, but on a consideration of all the factors listed in this section. The benefits payable in any claim are determined by specific provisions of law and are unrelated to the efforts of the representative. We may authorize a fee even if no benefits are payable.