Every person has the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative while pursuing a claim or other rights under titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act. This site contains information and links to assist both claimants and their representatives through the benefit and appeals processes.

News Update

Direct Payment to Eligible Non-Attorney Representatives - The next EDPNA examination will be held on Wednesday May 18th, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. The application period runs from March 9, 2016 through March 30, 2016. For detailed information about the examination and requirements for direct fee payment, please go to CPS HR Consulting’s website.

On April 20, 2015, the “Submission of Evidence” CFR revisions became effective. As you know, claimants are now required to inform SSA/DDS about or submit all evidence known to him or her that relates to whether or not he or she is blind or disabled. If represented, the claimant’s appointed representative must act with reasonable diligence and promptness to help obtain all information or evidence that the claimant must submit and promptly forward the information or evidence to SSA/DDS for consideration. For additional changes to the CFR related to submission of evidence be sure to review 80 FR 14828.

It is imperative that all appointed representatives abide by the revised regulations. It is also necessary that all appointed representatives abide by the affirmative duties and do not engage in prohibited conduct, as detailed in the CFR. To ensure compliance , SSA/DDS has instituted a representative referral process for noncompliant representatives. Representative who do not comply will be referred to the Office of General Counsel for investigation. In cases of noncompliance, administrative sanctions may be pursued. As such, be sure to act in compliance with the submission of evidence rules, affirmative duties for representatives, and rules on prohibited conduct.

How Representatives Can Help

A claimant may appoint a qualified individual to represent him or her in doing business with Social Security. The appointment must be in writing and must be filed with SSA. If the claimant appoints a representative, the representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for those services without first getting written approval from the Social Security Administration, even if the claim is denied. To get this approval, the representative must use one of Social Security's fee authorization processes.

If you are helping someone prepare an Internet Social Security Benefit Application:

  • You cannot electronically sign the application on behalf of the applicant. Only the person you are helping can electronically sign his or her Internet Social Security Benefit Application and attest to the accuracy of the information provided.
  • If the applicant wishes to appoint you as his or her official representative, we will need a written statement appointing you to represent him or her in dealings with Social Security. You may use a Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) for this purpose.

If you are helping someone appeal a denied disability application, depending on the reason, you may be required to file the appeal online. If the application is denied for:

Forms Frequently Used by Representatives

Information for Third Party Entities that Pay Representational Fees

Prior to charging or collecting a fee from a claimant or a third party for services provided in any proceeding before the Social Security Administration (SSA), a representative generally must obtain SSA's authorization.

The regulations at 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1720 and 416.1520 provide that when a third-party entity pays the representative's fee and certain conditions are met, the SSA does not need to authorize the representative's fee. SSA does not need to authorize the fee under the following conditions:

  • The claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries are free of direct or indirect financial liability to pay a fee or expenses, either in whole or in part, to a representative or to someone else; and
  • A third-party entity, or a government agency from its own funds, pays the fee and expenses incurred, if any, on behalf of the claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries; and
  • The representative submits to SSA a form SSA-1696-U4 (or a written statement) waiving the right to charge and collect a fee and expenses from the claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries as specified in GN 03920.020B.3b.

Inform the SSA, by notice, if a state, county, or other third party entity will pay the representative's fee, so that SSA does not:

  • Authorize an additional fee to the representative
  • Withhold the claimant's benefit for fee payment
  • Pay a duplicate or additional fee to the representative