Last Update: 1/28/03 (Transmittal I-1-44)
Sample Language for Order Disapproving Fee Agreement
Sample Letter to the Representative Transmitting Order Disapproving Fee Agreement
The (Administrative Law Judge/Administrative Appeals Judge) previously approved the fee agreement between the claimant and (his/her) representative. However, the fee agreement does not meet the statutory requirements of §§ 206(a)(2)(A) and 1631(d)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act because:
[Only include those that apply]
the Social Security Administration did not receive the written agreement before the (Administrative Law Judge/Administrative Appeals Judge) decided the claim.
the claimant and (his/her) representative did not sign the fee agreement.
the fee agreement sets a fee that is more than the lesser of 25 percent of the past-due benefits or $6,000.
the fee agreement sets a minimum fee.
the fee agreement is excepted from the process. The reason it is excepted is
[Only include those that apply]
the claimant appointed more than one representative from a law firm or other business; all did not sign a single fee agreement; and the non-signing representative(s) did not waive charging or collecting a fee.
the claimant appointed representatives who are not members of a single law firm or other business and the representatives from the other firm(s) or business(es) did not waive charging and collecting a fee.
the claimant discharged a representative or a representative withdrew from the case before the claim was favorably decided, and that representative did not waive charging and collecting a fee.
the representative died before SSA issued a favorable decision.
a State court declared the claimant legally incompetent and the claimant's legal guardian did not sign the agreement.
Therefore, I do not approve the fee agreement. Because SSA cannot process the representative's fee under the fee agreement process, the claimant's representative must file a fee petition if (he/she) wants to charge and collect a fee.
[Use when the representative is an attorney and SSA is still withholding past-due benefits.]
If the claimant's lawyer wants us to pay the fee from the claimant's withheld benefits, (he/she) should submit a fee petition to (official authorized to act on fee petition) within 60 days of the date of this order.
On (1) , (Administrative Law Judge/Administrative Appeals Judge) (2) signed an order approving the fee agreement in this case. However, [Reason for disapproval: (e.g., the claimant is not legally competent to enter into a binding agreement/the fee agreement does not meet the statutory requirements of §§ 206(a)(2)(A) and 1631(d)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act)]. Therefore, the Social Security Administration cannot process your fee under the fee agreement process.
I have enclosed an order disapproving the fee agreement. You must file a fee petition if you intend to charge and collect a fee. I have enclosed a fee petition for your convenience.
I am sending a copy of my order to (Administrative Law Judge (3) /the Attorney Fee Branch) and requesting that (he/she/they) expedite the action on your fee petition. [If attorney representative has already received direct payment based on the approved fee agreement: (After the (Administrative Law Judge/Attorney Fee Branch) acts on your fee petition, we will notify you how this action affects the payment you have already received from the claimant's past-due benefits.)]
I sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you and your client.
(Name and title of CALJ,RCALJ, or Deputy Chair)
cc: (Claimant's name)
Date of ALJ's or AAJ's Order Approving Fee Agreement
Name of ALJ or AAJ
Name of ALJ