GN 03950.005 Responsibility for Conducting Administrative Review Under the Fee Petition Process - Jurisdiction
A. Policy - General
Jurisdiction to conduct administrative review under the fee petition process for claims under title II, title XVI, or title XVIII of the Act; or title IV of the Black Lung Benefits Act is determined by the office that made the initial fee authorization.
B. Policy - Administrative Review
1. Initial Fee Authorized by Processing Center
When a Program Service Center (PSC) or the Office of Central Operations (OCO) (which includes the Office of Disability Operations and the Office of International Operations), collectively known as PCs, made the initial fee authorization, the same PC conducts the administrative review. (GN 03930.015A. shows which PC has jurisdiction to make an initial fee authorization.) The chart below shows those employees delegated authority to conduct administrative review when the initial fee authorization was made by the PCs:
|PSC||Special Case Review Analyst (or someone in an equivalent position) in the Security and Integrity Section|
|Office of Disability Operations||Disability Specialist in the Special Appeals and Class Action Section|
|Office of International |
The Assistant Regional Commissioners for Management and Budget in the PSCs and the Director of the Office of Central Operations may delegate authority to others in equivalent positions, as necessary.
2. Proposed Fee on Administrative Review Exceeds $10,000
The Attorney Fee Branch (AFB) in OARO must review any proposal by a PC reviewer to authorize a fee in excess of $10,000. In such cases, the PC reviewer will prepare a recommended notice of administrative review decision and a Form SSA-1178 (Evaluation of Fee Petition for Representation) and submit the entire claim(s) file to the AFB (5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3255) for review. The PC reviewer will diary the case for 60 days to follow-up on the administrative review determination from the AFB and the return of the file. The AFB will review the recommendation and authorize the fee (either adopting or modifying the PC's recommendation).
3. Initial Fee Authorized by the Office of Hearings and Appeals
When OARO makes the initial fee authorization, an official in OARO will conduct the administrative review. The chart below shows those individuals or offices delegated authority to conduct administrative review.
|an Administrative Law |
|the Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge (RCALJ) who has jurisdiction over the claimant's servicing hearing office|
|an RCALJ, as presiding ALJ or on recommendation from a presiding ALJ||the Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge (DCALJ)|
|the DCALJ, as presiding ALJ or on recommendation from a presiding ALJ||the Chief Administrative Law Judge (CALJ)|
|the AFB||the Deputy Chair of the Appeals Council|
4. Authority of OARO Reviewing Officials
As a reviewing official, the RCALJ, DCALJ, CALJ, or Deputy Chair of the Appeals Council may authorize a representative's fee on administrative review without obtaining review or concurrence regardless of the amount of the fee.