Identification Number:
EM-21070
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs/OHO/OARO
Originating Office:ORDP ODP
Title:Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) instructions for processing representative appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents in the Registration Appointment and Services for Representatives (RASR) application
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title VIII (SVB); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: July 13, 2022


A. Purpose

The purpose of this EM is to provide OHO staff with instructions for processing representative appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents in the RASR. Prior to this EM, only field offices (FOs) processed appointment and fee related documents in RASR. Additionally, this EM provides language to alert the FOs to situations when OHO staff may reach out for assistance. This change to policy and business process for OHO does not change existing procedures for the FOs in GN 03910.040, GN 03910.060, and GN 03940.003.

B. Background

Our current policy states that the FOs are responsible for processing representative appointment and fee related documents. The FOs process information for registered representatives in RASR and other systems (e.g., Modernized Claim System (MCS) and the Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS)) and outside RASR for non-registered representatives. (
This change in the business process does not affect the e1696 process; the process remains the same. For more information refer to the EM-20022 REV and EM-21021 REV.)


SSA accepts a written notice of appointment, a claimant’s revocation, or a representative’s withdrawal in a dated and signed writing, a written fee related document, or the following SSA forms:
    · SSA-1696 Claimant’s Appointment of a Representative

    · SSA 1693 Fee Agreement for Representation before the Social Security Administration

    · SSA-1696-SUP1 Claimant's Revocation of the Appointment of a Representative

    · SSA-1696-SUP2 Representative's Withdrawal of Acceptance of an Appointment




To process and manage cases, OHO currently uses two case processing systems, the Hearings and Appeals Case Processing System (HACPS) and the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS). OHO is transitioning from processing cases in CPMS to processing cases only in HACPS. Until the transition is complete, some cases may only be established in CPMS. Currently, every case established in HACPS is also established in CPMS. Therefore, staff will add or update representative information in CPMS (even if the case is in HACPS) to ensure accuracy and completeness. Information added or updated in RASR automatically propagates in HACPS but not in CPMS, so staff will have to also add or update CPMS.

C. New Business Process

Effective with this EM, OHO staff will start processing in RASR new representative appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents submitted to OHO in all hearing-level cases for representatives registered in RASR. The FO will continue to process appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents received in the FO and for non-registered representatives in other applicable systems. OHO staff will also query the appointed representative Active Sanctions list in RASR prior to processing any appointment or fee related document.

If unable to process an appointment, revocation, withdrawal, or fee related document (e.g., the document is incomplete and missing information cannot be obtained), OHO staff will add the document to the claim(s) folder and send an assistance request for the FO to process the document. OHO staff will set a diary for 14 days to allow the FO to process the document and follow up as necessary. OHO will then update the representative’s information in CPMS, if needed.


For cases that are in HACPS, send an assistance request through HACPS, (see the HACPS Guide for Developments & Correspondences). For cases that are not in HACPS, send an assistance request through CPMS, (see the Hearing Office Assistance Request User Guide).

      Sample Language for an assistance request to the FO: “Unprocessed representative appointment or fee related documents in eView. Please process.”

NOTE: The Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO) will remain responsible for processing new registrations and updates (e.g., changes to a representative’s name, address, firm affiliation, or information for direct payment of fees) via form SSA-1699.


D. Instructions to OHO for the Processing of Appointment Documents

OHO staff will process in RASR all representative appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents received at the hearing level for all representatives registered in RASR (including principal representatives and non-principal representatives). For information on RASR and step-by-step instructions for inputting information in RASR, staff should refer to the RASR Resource Page.

OHO will process written notices of appointment and other representational documents as follows:
    1. When OHO receives a written notice of appointment or form SSA-1696, before keying the information in RASR, OHO staff will verify that the document is valid and complete following the policy in GN 03910.040 and HALLEX I-1-1-10. If the document is valid and complete, OHO staff will process as described below. If the document is invalid or is incomplete, OHO staff will try to obtain a valid and complete form. When OHO staff is unable to obtain the missing information, they will send an assistance request to the FO (see Section C, above).


      NOTE 1: If the FO obtains the missing information, the FO will process the appointment and notify OHO via the assistance request.

      NOTE 2: If an administrative law Judge (ALJ) already held a hearing for the case and verified the appointment on-the-record (OTR), then the claimant’s electronic signature on the form SSA-1696 does not require further verification by the FO (see EM-20022 REV 3).

      NOTE 3: These instructions do not change the processing of form SSA-3288 (Consent for Release of Information). If an individual submits this form at the hearing level, OHO staff will take no additional steps in RASR, HACPS, or CMPS. OHO staff will add the document to the claim(s) folder.

    2. Prior to processing any representative appointments (including when an individual appears as a new representative at a hearing), revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents, OHO staff will search RASR to determine whether the representative is registered and/or sanctioned.

      To check the sanctions list, access RASR and search the representative’s name (see the “Active Sanctions List” tab under the “Queries Search”, which is located in the “Query User Guide” located on the left side of the RASR resource page). RASR’s sanction list includes all sanctioned representatives, including representatives who are not registered in RASR.

      NOTE: See the “RASR Query User Guide” at RASR Resource Page for instructions on searching RASR.


    3. If the representative is not registered in RASR but wishes to register, OHO staff will:

      · Provide information on how to register by referring the representative to www.ssa.gov/ar (GN 03913.001).

      · If the representative wants to submit a notice of appointment, OHO will refer the representative to the servicing FO but will not take any additional steps in this EM. OHO staff can locate the servicing FO in the Detailed Office and Organization Resource System (DOORS).


    4. If the representative is not registered in RASR and does not wish to register, OHO will:

      · Access RASR to check the Active Sanctions list and search the representative’s name

      · Follow the instructions in Section D.5.a., below if a representative’s name is on the Active Sanctions list.

      · Request that the Regional IT staff add the appointed representative to the Representative Table in CPMS, if needed (see the Representative Table Desk Guide for Hearing Offices).

      · Update CPMS with the appointed representative information after the appointed representative has been added to the Representative Table. Update the representative in CPMS only if the principal representative has changed.

      · Send an assistance request to inform the FO that they need to take action to document the appropriate systems with the representative’s information (see Section C, above, for sending assistance requests).

          Sample Language: “Representative not in RASR. Please add/update representative information in EDCS/MCS/MSSICS as appropriate.

      · Add/upload the representative related documents to the claim(s) folder.

      · For representative terminations, generate and send the appropriate correspondence via the Document Generation System (DGS) notifying the claimant of other available representation.

      · Do not take any additional steps in this EM.

      5. If the representative is registered, OHO will:

        · Access RASR to check the “Active Sanctions List” tab under the “Queries Search” and search the representative’s name (see Section D.2. above).
            a. If a registered representative’s name is on the Active Sanctions list, OHO staff will notify their supervisor and advise the sanctioned representative in writing per HALLEX I-1-1-57 C. (Attempts by Suspended or Disqualified Representatives to Act as Representatives for Claimants). OHO staff will not take any additional steps in this EM.
                NOTE: OHO staff will access RASR’s sanctions list throughout the hearing process to check a representative’s status prior to processing any appointment related document or taking any actions. For example, if a representative whose name is on the sanctions list submits a fee petition, advise the representative that SSA does not allow a sanctioned representative to charge or collect a fee for services performed, nor can the representative receive direct payment of a fee after the effective date of the sanction. HALLEX I-1-1-57 A.
            b. If a registered representative’s name is not on the Active Sanctions list in RASR, OHO staff will update RASR with new appointments, revocations, withdrawals, fee-related actions (e.g., fee waiver), or changes in principal representation. OHO staff will add or remove the principal representative designation, as needed, to ensure the correct principal representative shows in RASR. See POMS GN 03910.040 for determining the principal representative when the claimant has appointed multiple representatives. If unable to complete the processing in RASR, OHO staff will send an assistance request to the FO (see section C above).
        REMINDER: We process information in RASR for all registered representatives (including non-principal representatives).

        NOTE 1: RASR will automatically send appropriate notices and acknowledgments to the registered appointed representative and the claimant. For the “RASR Appointment User Guide,” go to the RASR Resource Page.

        NOTE 2: For representatives registered in RASR, OHO staff does not need to send an assistance request in either CPMS or HACPS to the FO after updating RASR. RASR will automatically notify the FO to make any required updates to its systems.


      6. Add all claimant or representative submitted appointment related document(s) to the electronic or the paper claim(s) folder.


      7. For “paper folder” cases, when a new appointment is received, OHO will affix form SSA-1128 (Representative Involved) to the folder. When terminating appointments (e.g., revocations, withdrawals), OHO will remove the “Representative Involved” flag from the paper folder unless simultaneously processing a new appointment. If the case is in the Electronic Non-Medical (ENM) application, add or remove the Representative Involved flag when re-assembling the paper claim file at case closure (see CJB 21-01 REV for information on the ENM application). RASR automatically adds/removes the Representative Involved flag in electronic cases.

      8. Update CPMS with any new or updated principal representative information or other updates, including changes in the fee arrangement, affiliation, or other information. No update is needed in HACPS because RASR automatically sends appointed representative updates to HACPS.

    E. Closing

    OHO staff should direct questions through the office’s management chain. Regional office staff may direct questions about this matter to
    OHO.OCALJ.DFP@ssa.gov.

    FO staff may direct all program-related and technical questions to their Regional Office (RO) support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contact.

    F. References

    GN 03910.040 Appointment of a Representative
    GN 03910.060 When a Representative’s Appointment Ends
    GN 03940.003 Fee Agreement Evaluation
    GN 03913.001 Individual Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment of Fees
    HALLEX I-1-1-10 Appointing a Representative
    HALLEX I-1-1-57 Common Issues After a Suspension or Disqualification
    EM-20022 REV 3 Temporary Instructions for the Bundled Receipt and Processing of an Electronically Signed SSA-1696 and Certain Other Forms
    EM-21021 REV Online Forms SSA-1696 Claimant’s Appointment of Representative and SSA-1693 Fee Agreement for Representation before SSA
    CJB 21-01 REV Updated Business Process for the Electronic Non-Medical Application

    EM-21070 - Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) instructions for processing representative appointments, revocations, withdrawals, and fee related documents in the Registration Appointment and Services for Representatives (RASR) application - 12/13/2021