When authorizing fees under the fee agreement process, the fee agreement signed by
the primary claimant is binding on the auxiliary beneficiary(ies), unless an auxiliary
has appointed his/her own representative. GN 03920.030B. and GN 03920.035B. discuss past-due benefits of and withholding from an auxiliary beneficiary.
Prior to the implementation of Title 2 Redesign Release 3 (T2R3) on June 21, 2004,
SSA prorated the fee between or among the claimant and the auxiliary beneficiary(ies)
when one or more of the auxiliaries resided in a household separate from the claimant's.
However, effective with the implementation of the T2R3, the primary claimant pays
the authorized fee from his/her withheld past-due benefits to the maximum extent possible.
SSA prorates the difference, if any, between the maximum fee payable based on the
approved fee agreement and the amount the primary claimant pays, between or among
all auxiliary beneficiaries, independent of the household status (i.e., single or
multiple family unit), based on each auxiliary's past-due benefits amount. SSA will
prorate the fee amount between or among the auxiliary(ies) who benefited from the
representative's services and who were not independently represented.
EXAMPLE: After the implementation of T2R3, if the approved fee agreement provides for the
specified dollar amount of the fee cap indicated in GN 03940.003B.3, and 25 percent of the primary claimant's past-due benefits equals or exceeds the
specified dollar amount of the fee cap, there is no withholding from auxiliary beneficiaries
for fee payment.