Citations:

Social Security Act (the Act),§§206(a)(1), 206(a)(4), 1631(d), and 1127, as amended; Federal Mine Safety and Health Act §413(b); and

20 CFR §§404.1720, 404.1725, 410.686b, 410.686c, 416.1520, and 416.1525

TN 8 (02-05)

GN 03930.001 Fee Petition Process - Introduction and Preview

A. Introduction

This subchapter describes the policies and procedures that pertain primarily to authorization of representatives’ fees under the fee petition process. For administrative review of fees authorized under the fee petition process, see GN 03950.000.

B. Preview

The sections in this subchapter, following GN 03930.025, that cover actions taken in the field offices (FOs) and processing centers (PCs) are grouped into topics based on the position of the employee who generally performs the task(s) identified. However, an individual PC may designate employees in another position as responsible for a given task within that component.

C. Definitions

When used in this subchapter, the following definitions apply:

1. Representative

A representative is the person, either an attorney or a qualified non-attorney, whom the claimant appointed in writing to act on his/her behalf in pursuing a claim or asserted right before SSA.

2. Fee Petition

A fee petition is a written statement signed by the claimant's representative requesting the fee the representative wants to charge and collect for services he/she provided in pursuing the claimant's benefit rights in proceedings before SSA. (GN 03930.020 describes a fee petition more fully.)

3. Fee Agreement

A fee agreement is a written statement signed by the claimant and his/her representative specifying the fee the representative expects to charge and collect, and the claimant expects to pay, for services the representative provides in pursuing the claimant's benefit rights in proceedings before SSA.

4. Fee Authorization

Fee authorization under the fee petition process is the means by which SSA approves the amount of the fee a claimant's representative may charge and collect for services provided.

5. Fee Authorization Documents

a. Fee Petition Process Authorization Documents

Fee authorization documents in the fee petition process include the following:

  • Form SSA-1560A-U5 (Authorization to Charge and Collect a Fee), for fees for services provided in proceedings before SSA

  • Court order, for fees for services provided in proceedings before the court.

b. ODAR Fee Authorizer Decides Not to Authorize a Fee

A fee authorizer within the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) who decides not to authorize a fee for services provided in proceedings before SSA issues an order to explain why, using:

  • Form HA-515-U6 (Hearing Order), if the authorizer is an Administrative Law Judge; or

  • Form HA-517 (Order of Appeals Council), if the authorizer is the Attorney Fee Officer (see HALLEX I-1-2-59).

6. Processing Centers

The PCs are the six Program Service Centers (PSCs) and the Office of Central Operations (OCO). OCO is comprised of the Office of Disability Operations (ODO) and the Office of International Operations (OIO).

7. Representative Eligible for Direct Payment

A representative who is eligible to receive direct payment of the fee is either:

  • an attorney, or

  • a non-attorney whom SSA has determined meets the prerequisites for direct payment of the fee as outlined in GN 03920.018 .

For general policy on direct payment to representatives, see GN 03920.017 . For specific policy on direct payment to non-attorney representatives, see GN 03920.018

D. References

  • Policies and general procedures that pertain to both the fee petition and fee agreement processes, GN 03920.000.

  • Policies and procedures that pertain primarily to authorization of representatives’ fees under the fee agreement process, GN 03940.000.