TN 19 (05-07)

GN 01070.330 Claimant Appointed Representatives – DIRCON

A. Policy for appointed representatives

If the claimant has executed Form SSA-1696-U4, or equivalent statement, appointing either an attorney or a non-attorney representative, all contacts must normally be made through the representative (see GN 03910.050) until such time as the representative submits a fee petition or otherwise terminates his/her services.

B. Definitions

1. Representative

For the purpose of this section, the term “representative” does not include a representative payee.

2. Category 1 Issue

An issue that does not affect entitlement is a Category 1 issue.

3. Category 2 Issue

An issue that does affect entitlement is a Category 2 issue.

C. Guidelines for contacting claimant appointed representatives

1. Representative not available when call is made

  1. Tell the secretary/staff what information is needed from the claimant.

  2. State that the information is required to make payment.

  3. Ask if direct claimant contact is permissible.

  4. Document the file accordingly.

2. representative does not respond - category 1 issue

If there is no response received within 3 calendar days, and the needed information permits payment and is available from the claimant / beneficiary:

  1. Re-contact the representative. Repeat the request and explain that if no response is made within 2 days, we will assume that the representative does not object to SSA contacting the claimant / beneficiary directly.

  2. Document the claims file accordingly.

3. Representative Does Not Respond - Category 2 Issue

  1. Do not contact the claimant / beneficiary directly without the representative’s permission.

  2. If no response is received after 5 calendar days - (initial call and follow-up call) - use the direct contact mail procedure.

    • Contact the representative and send a copy of the request to the claimant.

    • Set a 20 day diary.

  3. If no response is received after the 20 calendar day diary, develop the issue through the claimant’s resident FO. (See GN 00904.048.)

D. Examples – Category 1 Issues

The following are examples of issues that do not affect entitlement - Category 1.

1. Determinations

  • Why claimant born in “yes” state answered “no” about pre-age 5 public birth record

  • Reason for “in care of” address

  • Spouse’s SSN

  • Military service dates

  • Basis for receipt of military or Civil Service pension in giving military wage credits

  • Railroad employment dates

  • Proper payment method (continued direct deposit or home mailing address) in re-entitlement claims

  • Reason for return of HIB-SMIB card

  • Disperse underpayment over $750 or more than one month’s benefit (including underpayment due a deceased beneficiary - see GN 02301.055);

2. Development Requests

  • Evidence of support (tax return, etc.)

  • Change of address information

  • Reason for returned check if reason listed as “MISC” (SM 00624.030).

  • SSN omitted or incorrectly shown on report or letter from beneficiary

  • Representative payee information

3. Verifications

  • Correct name

  • Correct address (see GN 02605.005)

  • Marital information

  • Death of beneficiary or date of death (NOTE: In CMS death alert cases follow GN 02602.050)

  • Non-receipt of check allegation (mail only) – SM 00624.030

E. Examples – Category 2 Issues

The following are examples of issues that do affect entitlement - Category 2.

1. Clarifications

  • Inconsistent statements in file

  • Intent of overpayment protest (GN 02250.002)

  • Attorney fee petiti