TN 8 (02-05)
GN 03930.010 Determining a Reasonable Fee Under the Fee Petition Process
A. Policy - General
The regulations prescribe the criteria for evaluating fee petitions and determining reasonable fees for representation. The fee authorizer must consider the purpose of the program(s) together with other factors.
1. Program Purpose Considered
a. Title II
The fee authorizer must consider the purpose of the program (i.e., to provide a measure of economic security for program beneficiaries).
b. Title XVI
The fee authorizer must consider the purpose of the program (i.e., to assure a minimum level of income for supplemental security income recipients who otherwise do not have sufficient income and resources to maintain a standard of living at the established Federal minimum income level).
2. Other Factors Considered
The fee authorizer also must consider each of the following factors:
The extent and type of services provided;
The complexity of the case;
The level of skill and competence required in providing the services;
The amount of time spent on the case;
The results the representative achieved;
The level of administrative review to which the claim was taken and the level at which the representation began; and
The amount the representative requested for his/her services, including any amount authorized or requested before (e.g., for proceedings before a Federal court), but not including the amount of any expenses incurred.
B. Policy - Concurrent Titles II and XVI Case
Pursuant to Social Security Ruling (SSR) 83-27, SSA determines one reasonable fee for the services provided in connection with both the titles II and XVI programs when all of the following circumstances apply.
The concurrent titles II and XVI claims, or postentitlement or post-eligibility (PE) actions, involved a common substantive issue (e.g., disability).
Although some services may have been unique to the title II or XVI claim or PE action, most of the representative's services focused on resolving the common issue, and the representative did not perform two sets of services different in most respects.
The services the representative provided led to favorable determinations or decisions in both cases.
If the representative is eligible for direct payment, see GN 03920.017E. for policy on the authorized fee amount SSA pays from the withheld title II and the title XVI past-due benefits.