I-1-2-116.Exhibit - Sample Final Letters — Administrative Review Requested on Fee Petition Determination

Last Update: 2/25/05 (Transmittal I-1-48)

  1. To Representative - Fee Not Changed

  2. To Representative - Fee Raised

  3. To Claimant - Fee Lowered

A. To Representative - Fee Not Changed

I am writing about your request to raise the fee amount we said you can charge for your work on (name of claimant)'s claim(s).

The law requires us to authorize a representative's fee for Social Security claims-related services. The regulations allow us to review decisions about the fee for those services.

In my letter dated (date), I told you about the factors we consider in authorizing a representative's fee. I considered those factors, your letter dated (date), and (name of claimant)'s letter dated (date), in making my decision.

My Decision

Based on this review, I decided that the $(amount) we authorized before is reasonable for your services. This is the most you can charge for your work on (name of claimant)'s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claims.

I did not change the fee amount because (rationale for not modifying the fee).

There is no further review available to you, to (name of claimant), or to (names of affected auxiliary beneficiary(ies)) in this matter. See the Social Security Administration regulations at 20 CFR 404.1720(d)(1) and 416.1520(d)(1).

I am sending copies of this letter to (name(s) of other party(ies)).

B. To Representative - Fee Raised

I am writing about your request to raise the fee amount we said you can charge for your work on (name of claimant)'s claim(s).

The law requires us to authorize a representative's fee for Social Security claims-related services. The regulations allow us to review decisions about the fee for those services.

In my letter dated (date), I told you about the factors we consider in authorizing a representative's fee. I considered those factors, your letter dated (date), and (name of claimant)'s letter dated (date), in making my decision.

My Decision

Based on this review, I decided that you may charge $(amount). I raised the fee amount because (rationale for increasing the fee: include a response to specific issues(s) and argument(s) raised). The fee does not include any out-of-pocket expenses, for example, the cost to get a copy of a doctor or hospital report.

This decision replaces our earlier one about the fee amount dated (date). This new amount is the most you can charge for your work on (name of claimant)'s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claims.

[If representative is eligible for direct fee payment and received direct payment of the previously authorized fee and SSA is no longer withholding any past-due benefit:]

Earlier, we paid you $(amount paid to representative from withheld past-due benefits AFTER subtracting 6.3 percent user fee) from your client's past-due benefits. This amount is the fee we authorized earlier, less a service charge. Because we are not withholding any more of your client's past-due benefits, the payment of the rest of the fee, $(amount of the fee approved on administrative review MINUS amount previously authorized BEFORE 6.3 percent user fee), is a matter between you and (claimant's name).

[If representative is eligible for direct fee payment and waived direct payment:]

The payment of $(difference between fee authorized on administrative review and fee initially authorized), which is the difference between $(fee authorized on administrative review) and the fee we originally authorized, is a matter between you and (claimant's name).

There is no further review available to you or to (claimant's name) in this matter. See the Social Security Administration regulations at 20 CFR 404.1720(d)(1) and 416.1520(d)(1).

I am sending a copy of this letter to (name of claimant).

C. To Claimant - Fee Lowered

I am writing about your request to lower the fee amount we said your (representative) can charge for (his/her) work on your claim.

The law requires us to authorize a representative's fee for Social Security claims-related services. The law also allows us to review decisions about the fee for those services.

In my letter dated (date), I told you about the factors we consider in authorizing a representative's fee. I considered those factors, your letter dated (date), and your representative's letter dated (date), in making my decision.

My Decision

Based on this review, I decided that your representative may charge $(amount). I lowered the fee amount because (rationale for decreasing the fee, include a response to specific issues(s) and argument(s) raised). The fee does not include any out-of-pocket expenses.

[If representative is eligible to receive direct fee payment and received direct payment in excess of the revised fee amount:]

This decision replaces SSA's (date) one about the fee amount. Based on this earlier decision, we paid your representative (his/her) fee from your (and your children's) past-due benefits. The fee amount I now authorize is less than we previously authorized; therefore, the (processing center with jurisdiction) will notify you and your representative how much your representative must refund to SSA and how much more SSA will send you.

[If representative is eligible for direct fee payment but did not receive direct payment:]

If you have already paid your representative the fee we set earlier, (he/she) must refund $(difference between the two fee amounts) to you. This amount is the difference between the fee we previously set and $(fee set on administrative review). If you do not receive a refund soon, let us know, as this could be a possible violation of Social Security laws and regulations.

There is no further review available to you, (your children,) or to (name of representative/lawyer) in this matter. See the Social Security Administration regulation at 20 CFR 404.1720(d)(1).

I am sending copies of this letter to (names of other party(ies) and representative).