Identification Number:
EM-13024
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs/ODAR
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Distributing Fees When All Appointed Representatives Who Are Not Members of the Same Entity as Those with an Approved Fee Agreement Waive Their Fees—POMS Instructions Will Follow Shortly
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
New Retention Date: July 15, 2017

Retention Date: January 15, 2017
Retention Date: July 15, 2016
Retention Date: January 15, 2016
Retention Date: July 15, 2015
Retention Date: January 14, 2015
Retention Date: July 15, 2014

Purpose
We are modifying our appointed representative fee distribution procedure in one fee situation. This emergency message (EM) provides instructions on how technicians should distribute an authorized fee when there are appointed representatives from multiple entities; there is an approved fee agreement from one or more representative in a single entity; and all other appointed representatives waive charging and collecting a fee.

The new policy does not change the existing instructions that decision makers follow when they approve or disapprove a fee agreement (GN 03940.003B).

A. Background
Currently, to determine the individual fees in a multiple representative situation, we divide the total fee amount under the approved fee agreement by the total number of representatives, including those representatives who waive their fees. We then allow an equal share of the fee to each representative who did not waive a fee and allocate the remaining “waived share(s)” to the claimant. (GN 03940.009A). We are modifying this procedure, as explained in this EM.

B. New fee distribution procedure
    1. Apply the new fee distribution procedure when the situation meets all of the following conditions:
      • The claimant appoints representatives from more than one entity;
      • We have an approved fee agreement from a representative or multiple representatives in a single entity;
      • All other representatives waive charging and collecting a fee, either from any source (i.e., worked pro bono) OR from the claimant and any auxiliary beneficiary or eligible spouse because a third-party entity or government agency pays the fee from its funds, as described in GN 03920.010; AND
      • The decision maker approves the fee agreement because it meets all of our requirements. See GN 03940.002 and GN 03940.003.
    2. Under the new procedure, distribute the authorized fees based upon an approved fee agreement in the following manner:
      a. Divide the total authorized fee amount by the number of appointed representatives who are members of the same entity as those representatives who signed onto the fee agreement, including those representatives from the same entity who waived charging and collecting a fee.

        NOTE: Do not consider the appointed representatives from any other entity when dividing the total authorized fee amount.
      b. Allocate the apportioned amount to each appointed representative signing onto the fee agreement, but only directly pay the apportioned amount to those who qualify.

      NOTE: In a situation where appointed representatives from the same entity waive their fees, allocate to the claimant any remaining portion of the authorized fee.

      If the representative meets all of the conditions, follow this new procedure regardless of whether the representatives who waived their fees:
        • withdrew from the case,
        • had their appointments revoked, or
        • remain appointed.
      If all of the conditions for applying this policy are not met, follow the current procedures for allocating the authorized fee in GN 03940.009A.

C. Examples of fee distribution
Following are examples of fee distribution:

Example 1: The claimant appointed two representatives from Firm A and one representative from Firm B. The representative from Firm B waived his or her fee. The two representatives from Firm A have an approved fee agreement that each of them signed, and SSA determines a fee of $6000. The representatives from Firm A will receive $3000 each.

Example 2: The claimant appointed two representatives from Firm A, one representative from Firm B, and one representative who is a sole practitioner. The representative from Firm B waived his or her fee from any source. The sole practitioner waived charging and collecting a fee from the claimant or any auxiliary beneficiaries because a third party entity will be paying his or her fee. The two representatives from Firm A have an approved fee agreement that each of them signed, and SSA determines a fee of $6000. The representatives from Firm A will receive $3000 each.

Example 3: The claimant appointed two representatives from Firm A and one representative from Firm B. One of the representatives from Firm A signed a fee agreement. The second representative from Firm A and the representative from Firm B both waived charging and collecting a fee from any source. At the time of a favorable decision, the decision maker approved the fee agreement; subsequently, SSA determines a fee of $6000. The Firm A representative who had an approved fee agreement will receive $3000, but the “waived share” of $3000 for the second representative from Firm A should go to the claimant.

Direct all program-related and technical questions to your RO or PSC OA support staff, who may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

References:
GN 0392