Identification Number:
EM-21010
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/WSUs/PSCs/PCs/OHO
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Appointed Representative Services (ARS) Enhancement to Allow Authorized Representatives (ARs) to Access Electronic Folders (eFolders) at the Initial and Reconsideration Levels-One Time Only Instructions
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI); Disability
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date : August 19, 2021

A. Purpose

This Emergency Message provides information and instructions to field office and teleservice center staff on how to answer or redirect questions regarding a recent systems release that expanded access to our claims electronic folder (eFolder) at the initial and reconsideration levels, by appointed representatives through our Appointed Representative Services (ARS) application.

B. Background

Since 2011, Appointed Representative Services (ARS) has provided the ability for appointed representatives (ARs) to access their client’s electronic folders (eFolders) for cases pending at the hearings and appeals council levels. On September 19, 2020, SSA released an enhancement that added the functionality for ARs to access their client’s certain non-CDR cases pending at the initial and reconsideration levels.



C. Establishing Appointed Representatives’ Access to eFolders for Cases Pending at Initial and Reconsideration Levels

    1. In order to gain access to their clients’ eFolders through ARS at the initial and reconsideration levels, ARs must be enrolled in ARS.
        NOTE: If an representative without current eFolder access contacts the field office (FO) or teleservice center (TSC) requesting access to cases pending at the initial and reconsideration level, and he or she has not previously represented individuals at the hearing or Appeals Council level, advise the representative to contact his or her local hearing office to request ARS access.

      2. A representative’s written notice of appointment (i.e. signed Form SSA-1696 or any other writing) must be processed and recognized in our systems before we can grant access to a claimant’s eFolder. Please see GN 03910.040 for more information on the appointment of a representative.


      3. If FO or TSC technicians receive questions regarding enrolling in ARS, they should direct representatives to OHO.HQ.ARS@ssa.gov or visit https://www.ssa.gov/ar/ for more information.


      4. OHO will continue the current process of granting access to ARS for ARs with cases pending at the hearings or appeals levels.

        NOTE: Appointed representatives who only have cases pending at the initial and reconsideration levels are not eligible to enroll in ARS at this time.

    D. Troubleshooting ARS Access Issues When an AR Contacts the FO, WSU, or N8NN
      1. In order for ARs to access their client’s eFolder through ARS, he or she must be listed as active in both RASR and EDCS/eView.
          a. If RASR and EDCS/EView do not list an AR as active and the AR has not completed the SSA-1696 and any corresponding fee agreement:
              · OHO will direct the AR to submit the forms to the jurisdictional FO for processing.
            b. If RASR and EDCS/EVIEW does not list an AR as active and the AR alleges completing and submitting the forms.
                · OHO will instruct the AR to follow-up with the jurisdictional FO.
              c. If an AR contacts the FO, WSU, or N8NN and is appointed in RASR and eView but cannot access a case due to an error message or other technical issues, please refer them to ^OHO HQ ARS for assistance.
            NOTE: ARS will suspend a user’s account after 10 attempts in a 24-hour period to access an SSN for which he or she is not the representative of record (i.e., cases where the 1696 has not been processed). Please ensure any pending SSA-1696 and fee agreement forms are processed, then refer the AR to 1-866-691-3061 to reinstate their account access.
          2. To ensure timely access for ARs to ARS:
                · For representatives who are registered in RASR, technicians must establish appointments timely in RASR. Please see the RASR User Guide section RASR and Other Applications for more information on using RASR and GN 03913.001 for more information on the registration of ARs.
                  · For representatives who are not registered in RASR, technicians should enter appointment information into Modernized Claims System (MCS)/Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS), and fax all appointment documents timely into the certified electronic folder (CEF)/eView, the paper folder, or the Paperless as applicable. Please see GN 03910.040 for more information on the appointment of a representative.
                    · Technicians must select the “Update After Transfer” (UAT) function in EDCS to send the information to eView when adding a new representative but they do not have jurisdiction (i.e., the claim or action is pending at DDS or OHO).
                        o Continue to fax/upload paper form SSA-1696 and any corresponding fee agreement into CEF/eView or add to the paper folder as applicable.
                  a. As a reminder, all appropriate representative documentation must be in all pertinent repositories such as EDCS, eVIEW, RASR, in order for appointed representatives to be able to view their documents within ARS.
                    b. If a representative is appointed in RASR and eView, but cannot access a case due to an error message or other technical issue, refer him or her to ^OHO HQ ARS for assistance.

                Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff. RO support staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts.

                Reference:

                GN 03900.000 Representation and Representative's Fee

                GN 03910.040 Appointment of a Representative

                GN 03913.001 Individual Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment of Fees


                EM-21010 - Appointed Representative Services (ARS) Enhancement to Allow Authorized Representatives (ARs) to Access Electronic Folders (eFolders) at the Initial and Reconsideration Levels-One Time Only Instructions - 02/19/2021