GN 00904.048 Principal Claimant Has Appointed A Representative
If the principal claimant, as defined in GN 00904.030A, has appointed a representative (GN 03910.000), the DO must deal with the representative as described in GN 03910.050. DO's are delegated authority to correspond directly with such representatives residing in other DO service areas. Inform representatives that reside in other service areas that: (1) the DO servicing the address of the claimant is the resident office; and (2) the representative will conduct the claimant's business with the resident office. If the representative objects, explain that service area jurisdiction is determined by the claimant's address and that the appointment of a representative is exclusive to GN 03910.000; i.e., the appointment action does not pre-empt any guidelines in GN 00904.000.
In title II hearings cases, if appropriate, tell the representative that Administrative Law Judge(s) (ALJ(s)) are assigned according to the claimant's address, notwithstanding the existence of a representative and that processing the case can in some cases be complicated or impeded by the transfer of DO responsibilities. In title XVI appeals cases always tell the representative that after a favorable decision is rendered: (1) a personal contact with the claimant for a redetermination is required; and (2) the reconciliation of the claims file with the claimant can cause delays and/or inconvenience for the claimant because of the mail time required, file receipt and processing in the receiving DO after transfer, systems inputs, etc. This explanation should be documented in the file if the representative continues to pursue a change in service areas.