In addition to the above prohibition, a former SSA employee or official is prohibited
for a period of 2 years after his employment has ended from representing a claimant
in any claim 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 claimants under the
above criteria will, generally, apply to managerial personnel and those supervisory
employees in whose area of responsibility the claim or issue is assigned and for whom,
generally, there is no personal and substantial participation, as there is in the
case of a claims representative, claims authorizer or disability claims examiner where
personal involvement contributes significantly to the favorable or unfavorable determination.
The following examples are given to illustrate “personal and substantial participation” and “actually pending within the employee's area of responsibility.”
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. The former CR may be accepted 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) in which the CR as an SSA employee handled the initial
DIB claim, he would be prohibited forever from representing the claimant in the issue
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 which was not known
to exist when he filed his original claim. The original claim was filed 9 months previously
in the same DO where the Operations Supervisor was employed at the time. However,
the original claim was not assigned to the operational component over which the former
employee was a supervisor. The former Operations Supervisor may be accepted to 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.
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. The District Manager is prohibited from representing the
beneficiary for a period of 2 years from the date his employment with SSA terminated.