In addition to the above prohibition, a former SSA manager or supervisor is prohibited
for a period of 2 years after his employment has ended from communicating to or appearing
before SSA on behalf of any person or entity on a matter the subject matter of which
was actually pending under his official responsibility within his last year of employment.
“Actually pending” means that the claim or issue was referred to or under consideration
by persons within the employee's area of responsibility.
“Official responsibility” means the direct administrative or operating authority,
whether intermediate or final and either exercisable alone or with others and either
personally or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove or otherwise direct SSA's
functions. Thus, any particular matter under consideration in SSA is under the official
responsibility of the office director or office manager and under that of any intermediate
supervisor having responsibility for an employee who actually participates in the
matter within his position description.
The 2-year restriction on former employees seeking to represent a person or entity
under the above criteria will, generally, apply when an employee has “direct administrative
or operating authority, whether intermediate or final, and either exercisable alone
or with others, and either personally or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove,
or otherwise direct Government action.”
The following examples illustrate “personal and substantial participation” and “actually
pending within the employee's area of responsibility.”
Example 1: A former Claims Representative (CR) comes to a district office seeking
approval to represent a claimant for disability insurance benefits (DIB). The claimant
has not previously filed with SSA. SSA may accept the former CR as the claimant's
representative regardless of when his or her employment with SSA terminated. In this
case, the former CR was representing a claimant who had never before filed a claim
with SSA. There was no possibility of the former CR ever having participated personally
and substantially in the matter as an employee of SSA. On the other hand, had the
CR been seeking to represent a DIB beneficiary in a continuing disability investigation
(CDI) on which the CR handled the initial DIB claim, SSA would prohibit him forever
from representing the claimant before SSA on any subsequent questions or issues involving
Example 2: A former Operations Supervisor in a social security district office (DO)
seeks approval to represent an RSI beneficiary claiming an earlier month of entitlement
because of an earlier date of birth. The beneficiary submits primary evidence that
he did not know existed when he filed his original claim. He filed his original claim
9 months ago in the same DO that employed the Operations Supervisor at that time.
However, no one assigned the original claim to the operational component over which
the former employee was a supervisor. The former Operations Supervisor may represent
the beneficiary. While the initial claim was pending within the preceding 12-month
period, it was not pending in the former employee's area of official responsibility;
i.e., it was never subject to the direct operating authority of the Operations Supervisor
or his subordinates. The 2-year restriction does not apply.
Example 3: The situation is the same as example 2, except the former SSA employee
was the District Manager. In the case of the District Manager, the initial claim was
pending in his area of official responsibility within his last year of government
employment. The 2-year restriction applies. SSA prohibits the District Manager from
representing the beneficiary for a period of 2 years from the date his employment
with SSA terminated.