The FO or PC decision maker will approve or disapprove a fee agreement when SSA makes
a favorable initial or reconsideration determination on the subsequent application,
if the fee agreement was filed during the subsequent application process. The decision
maker will approve or disapprove the fee agreement based on whether it:
does or does not meet the statutory requirements (refer to GN 03940.003B.); and/or
is or is not excepted from the fee agreement process (refer to GN 03940.003D.).
In deciding whether any exceptions to the fee agreement process apply, SSA will consider
any representative appointed in the prior and/or subsequent application to be an appointed
representative in the claim. If the claimant has dismissed a representative or a representative
has withdrawn from serving as the claimant's representative, the FO or PC decision
maker will document the file to reflect this and to show whether the former representative
waives the fee or intends to request a fee, if that is known.
If the fee agreement has a two-tiered provision (i.e., the fee agreement applies only
to services through a specified level of the administrative appeals process), the
FO or PC decision maker will approve or disapprove the agreement based on the provision
that applies to the administrative level at which SSA issues the favorable determination
on the subsequent application. The FO or PC decision maker will not consider the level
at which the prior application is pending in deciding whether to approve or disapprove
the agreement. Refer to GN 03940.005 for two-tier fee agreement policy.
The FO or PC decision maker will take no action on a fee agreement filed only in connection
with the prior application.