A claimant's appointment, or revocation of an appointment, of a person as his or her
representative must be in writing, and must be filed with SSA.
A parent of a claimant under age 18 may appoint a representative or revoke an appointment
for the claimant, except when SSA has determined that the claimant will be his or
her own payee. If SSA has determined that a claimant under age 18 will be his or her
own payee (see GN
00502.070), the claimant may appoint and revoke his or her representative. A representative
payee may not appoint or revoke the appointment of a claimant’s representative; however,
a legal guardian may do so for a legally incompetent claimant. Guardians appointed
by a court for the duration of the legal proceedings, also known as “guardians ad
litem,” are legal guardians for the purposes of this section and can appoint a representative,
or revoke an appointment.
Correctly documenting the claim file and SSA's records regarding representative involvement
is essential. It ensures that SSA will, as required:
contact the claimant through, or with the permission of, the appointed representative;
provide the representative a copy of all notices;
authorize any fee before a representative can charge or collect it; and
withhold Title II and/or Title XVI past-due benefits for direct payment of part or
all of an authorized fee directly to a representative who is eligible for direct fee
payment. (See GN 03920.017 – Payment of Representative’s Fee.)
Documenting a revocation of appointment or a representative's withdrawal from a case
is equally important, to ensure that SSA does not incorrectly disclose information
to a former representative, or incorrectly withhold benefits based on an appointment
that is no longer in effect.
When you receive appointment documentation (Form SSA-1696 or equivalent writing) from
a representative, you must send the representative an acknowledgement of appointment
receipt (SSA-L1697-U3), see GN 03910.090 Exhibit 3. In addition you must acknowledge receipt of any material not directly
related to the appointment of the representative. Such materials includes: any appeals
requests forms, such as, SSA-561 (Request for Reconsideration) see GN 03102.225, SSA-61 (Request for Review by a Federal Reviewing Official) see AM-06173, HA-501
(Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge), see GN 03103.020, HA-520 (Request for Review of Hearing), see GN 03104.200 or equivalent). To acknowledge receipt of Form SSA-1696 or equivalent writing and
any material not directly related to the appointment, date stamp, copy, and return
all material along with the acknowledgement of appointment receipt notice (SSA-L1697-U3)
to the representative with a copy to the claimant.