GN 03980.010 Representation by Special Federal Employees
As used in this section the term “Special Federal Employee” means:
Individuals, such as advisory committee members, consultants, experts and others who are retained, designated, appointed or employed to perform, with or without compensation, temporary duties either on a full-time or intermittent basis, for not more than 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days.
A part-time U.S. Magistrate.
A reserve officer of the Armed Forces or an officer of the National Guard of the U.S. who
is serving involuntarily on extended active duty for any length of time (unless he or she is otherwise an officer or employee of the U.S.) or
is serving voluntarily on extended active duty for 130 days or less.
A part-time local representative of a member of Congress. (A full-time local representative of a member of Congress is classified as a regular Federal employee and subject to the rules in GN 03980.005 ff.
B. Rules Governing Special Employee Representation
A special Federal employee may represent parties in claims before the U.S. except:
as to matters in which the individual has at anytime participated personally and substantially in the course of his or her government employment; or
the individual has served the department or agency where he or she is employed for more than 60 days in the immediately preceding period of 365 days and the matter is one which is pending before the department or agency. This restraint applies whether or not the matter is one in which the individual participated personally and substantially in his or her government employment.
Condition 2. does not apply where the employee has served no more than 60 days during the immediately preceding 365 consecutive days.
These restraints apply on days when the special employee does not serve the Government as well as on days when he or she does. These restrictions apply to both paid and unpaid representation.
These rules, as they apply to representation before SSA by a special SSA employee, will prohibit representation by any SSA employee—so employed, unless he served the agency for no more than 60 days in the immediately preceding period of 365 days and never personally and substantially participated in the matter at issue.
In addition, a special SSA employee may represent, with or without compensation, his parents, spouse, child or any person (or estate) for whom he is acting in a fiduciary capacity provided that the head of the principal operating component or his or her designee approves. However, the employee may not act as a representative in matters in which he or she has personally and substantially participated or if the matter is one which is the subject of his or her official responsibility.
C. Development Where a Part-time U.S. Magistrate Seeks to Act as a Representative
The job title “Part-time U.S. Magistrate” is a successor to the job title “Part-time U.S. Commissioner.” The duties of a part-time U.S. Magistrate are limited to minor criminal offenses, so there is no possibility that a social security matter would or could eventually be considered part of his or her official duties. Accept a statement by a magistrate that he or she is part-time and has not previously participated in the matter as a Federal employee, in the absence of information to the contrary. If the magistrate is full-time, the provisions in 03980.005 apply.
D. Development Where Reserve Officer or National Guard Officer Seeks to Act as Representative
Develop to determine if the officer is a “special employee” as defined in GN 03980.010 A. 3. If so, and he is not otherwise an SSA employee, thereis no bar to representation under title 18 of the U.S. Code.