TN 14 (08-20)

GN 03970.011 Potentially Unqualified Attorney and Non-Attorney Representatives

CITATIONS:

Social Security Act Sections 206(a), 1631(d)(2), and Regulations 20 CFR 404.1705, 404.1745, 416.1505 and 416.1545

The Social Security Act (Act) requires certain qualifications for attorney and non-attorney representatives, see GN 03910.020A. If a representative does not meet these qualifications, the agency may (1) not recognize the appointment, or (2) take action to disqualify the attorney or non-attorney representative based on the guidance in this section

A. Procedure for handling pending claims, matters, or issues with a potentially unqualified attorney representative

If you suspect a prospective attorney representative does not meet the qualifications as stated in GN 03910.020A.1 for us to recognize him or her as a representative in the current case, take the following actions:

  1. 1. 

    Process the written notice of appointment (i.e., Form SSA-1696 or any other writing),

  2. 2. 

    Immediately refer the individual to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) following the instructions in GN 03970.017 and GN 03970.070,

  3. 3. 

    Continue to recognize the attorney as the claimant's appointed representative unless and until the agency disqualifies or suspends him or her and the decision is final, and

  4. 4. 

    Continue to process the case without delay.

B. Procedure for handling pending claims, matters, or issues with a potentially unqualified non-attorney representative

If you suspect a prospective non-attorney representative does not meet the qualifications as stated in GN 03910.020A.2 for us to recognize him or her as a representative in the current case, take the following actions:

  1. 1. 

    If we had previously recognized the non-attorney as an appointed representative:

    1. a. 

      Process the written notice of appointment (i.e., Form SSA-1696 or any other writing),

    2. b. 

      Immediately refer the individual to the OGC following the instructions in GN 03970.017 and GN 03970.070, and

    3. c. 

      Continue to recognize the non-attorney representative as the claimant's appointed representative unless and until the agency disqualifies or suspends him or her and the decision is final.

  2. 2. 

    If we had not previously recognized the non-attorney as an appointed representative:

    1. a. 

      Do NOT process the written notice of appointment (i.e., Form SSA-1696 or any other writing),

    2. b. 

      Immediately refer the individual to the OGC following the instructions in GN 03970.017 and GN 03970.070,

    3. c. 

      Notify the claimant that he or she is not currently represented while we are evaluating the appointment,

    4. d. 

      Do NOT recognize the appointment until OGC provides guidance on our recognition of the non-attorney, and

    5. e. 

      Continue to process the case without delay.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0203970011
GN 03970.011 - Potentially Unqualified Attorney and Non-Attorney Representatives - 08/26/2020
Batch run: 08/26/2020
Rev:08/26/2020