TN 1 (05-05)
DI 80550.150 Representative Fees
Representatives must obtain authorization from SSA before charging and/or collecting any fee for services. There are two alternative processes by which a representative seeks authorization: fee agreements and fee petitions. Generally, the representative selects which of the two fee authorization processes to use. If a representative elects to use the fee agreement process but SSA does not approve the agreement, the representative must file a fee petition in order to charge and collect a fee.
A representative may waive the fee before or after filing an agreement or petition. The representative may also withdraw the fee waiver prior to filing a subsequent agreement or petition.
An attorney representative may waive direct payment from past-due Title II benefits. Title XVI does not provide for direct payment of fees. Non-attorney representatives may not receive direct payment of fees.
A. Fee Agreements
1. Fee Agreement Process
To use the fee agreement process, a representative must file a fee agreement before the date SSA issues the first favorable decision for which the representative performed services. A representative may file only one fee agreement per case; a representative and a claimant may modify a fee agreement at any time before the date of the favorable decision.
2. Review of Fee Agreements
There are at least three types of administrative reviews that can occur for fee agreements:
Review of the fee amount (requested by the claimant, affected auxiliary beneficiary, representative, or decision maker).
Review of the determination approving or disapproving a fee agreement (requested by the claimant or representative).
The Program Service Center may request the Regional Chief ALJ to review the approval action.
B. Fee Petition
1. Fee Petition Process
A representative submits a petition for a fee after his/her services in the case have ended.
CPMS generates a workload control item if a user enters a fee petition receipt date, but neither the recommended nor authorized amount has been entered and the action end date is blank. The workload control item clears if a user enters either the recommended or authorized amount and the action end date.
CPMS creates a workload control item if the recommended amount for the fee petition exceeds $7,000. The item reminds the user to forward the case for review and to confirm and enter the date and amount authorized by the Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge. This item can be cleared through the “To Do” List.
2. Review of Fee Petitions
After an ALJ authorizes a fee petition, a claimant, affected auxiliary beneficiary, or representative may request administrative review of the amount authorized. The request must be filed within 30 days after the date of SSA’s initial fee authorization notice. The Regional Chief ALJ conducts the administrative review.