TN 13 (03-20)

GN 03910.001 Terms and Definitions as Applied to this Subchapter

The following are terms and definitions as we use them only in this subchapter:

A. Claimant

Claimant is an individual claiming a right under the old-age, disability, dependents', or survivors' benefits program. It also refers to beneficiaries or other recipients whose benefit rights are the subject of a post-entitlement or post-eligibility (PE) action.

B. Pending claim, matter, or issue

A pending claim, matter, or issue is any claim for benefits, asserted right under any of our programs (e.g., an individual's declaration or statement that he or she believes to be eligible for or entitled to payments or other benefits), or an issue that awaits our decision at any stage of the administrative process (e.g., PE or Medicare issue).

Examples of a pending claim(s), matter(s), or issue(s) include, but are not limited to:

  • when the claimant files a signed application;

  • when the claimant files an appeal in writing;

  • PE issues not yet on appeal such as a medical continuing disability review; or

  • when the claimant or representative requests administrative review of a fee authorization. See GN 03950.000 and GN 03960.000 for information on administrative review of fee authorizations under the fee petition and fee agreement processes.

C. Representative

A representative is an individual whom the claimant appoints to represent him or her in the claimant's dealings with us (i.e., to act on the claimant's behalf and pursue the claimant's interests). See GN 03910.040 for information on the appointment of a representative.

NOTE: Individuals such as friends, neighbors, or relatives can be appointed as the claimant's representative but do not need to be appointed if they are providing general assistance to the claimant. See GN 03910.020D for information on types of general assistance not considered "representational services."

D. Written notice of appointment

To appoint a representative, a claimant must submit a signed, written notice stating an intent to appoint the individual as his or her representative. If the claimant is appointing an individual who is not an attorney, that individual must also sign the notice. See 20 CFR 404.1707 and 416.1507.

The agency's Form SSA-1696 (Claimant's Appointment of a Representative) or any other writing can satisfy this requirement as long as it contains certain information to show the claimant's intent to appoint the specified individual and if necessary, that individual's intent to agree to represent the claimant. See GN 03910.040 for information about the written notice and recognition of an appointment.

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GN 03910.001 - Terms and Definitions as Applied to this Subchapter - 01/12/2006
Batch run: 03/17/2020