I-1-1-11.Processing the Appointment of a Representative
Last Update: 11/14/22 (Transmittal I-1-104)
Staff in the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) and the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) must review all incoming cases or case materials to determine whether a claimant has a representative. In addition to the procedures below, Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 03910.040 provides more information about processing an appointment of a representative.
For an appointment to be valid, the claimant must file with the Social Security Administration (SSA) a completed and properly signed written notice of appointment, which can be on Form SSA-1696, Claimant's Appointment of a Representative, the electronic SSA-1696 (e1696), or any other written document that meets the requirements of 20 CFR 404.1707 and 416.1507, as described in Hearings, Appeals, and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-1-10 A.
B. Document the System(s) and the Claim(s) File
Upon receiving a written notice of appointment, OHO or OAO staff must annotate the appropriate system(s), notify the servicing field office (FO), and properly associate the document(s) with the file. OHO or OAO staff must also update the record when representation information changes, such as when a new or amended notice of appointment is submitted designating a principal representative, or when a representative's fee arrangement (e.g., a fee agreement or a fee waiver is submitted) changes.
1. Process the Appointment in the System(s)
Staff will process a new written notice of appointment, or updated representation information in the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS) for cases pending with OHO, and in the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) for cases pending with OAO.
For all representative(s), principal and non-principal, registered for direct payment (registered representative) in the Registration, Appointment, and Services for Representatives (RASR) application, OHO and OAO staff will process any new written notice of appointment, or changes in representation information, in RASR.
OHO staff need not update the Hearings and Appeals Case Processing System (HACPS) because information added or updated in RASR automatically propagates in HACPS.
OHO staff should refer to Standard Hearings Operations Procedure (SHOP) section 220.127.116.11 for hearing-level instructions on entering and updating representative information, and documenting fee waivers, terminations, and reinstatements in RASR for both fully electronic and paper cases if the representative is registered for direct payment.
OHO and OAO staff cannot register or update a representative's contact information in RASR. Registered representatives must update their information by resubmitting their Form SSA-1699. See D. 2., below, for instructions when OHO or OAO receives a Form SSA-1699. For registered representatives, OHO and OAO staff will not process any updates to a representative's contact information in CPMS or ARPS unless it is submitted on a Form SSA-1699. Instead, OHO and OAO staff will send the Form SSA-1699 or other updated information to the servicing FO to assist the representative with registration updates. See POMS GN 03913.035A.
If a representative who is not registered for direct payment submits updated contact information in any manner other than Form SSA-1699, OHO or OAO staff will update CPMS or ARPS and send the updated information to the FO. See D.2. below.
2. Document the Claim(s) File and Notify the FO
OHO or OAO staff will add notices of appointment or documents related to changes in representation information to the claim(s) file and notify the FO according to whether the case is fully electronic or involves a paper claim(s) file:
For fully electronic cases: OHO staff will follow the instructions in SHOP 18.104.22.168 to notify the FO about any changes in representation. OAO staff will notify the FO about any changes in representation via e-email (See OAO eBusiness Process 1.1.C.2.). When OAO staff updates the claimant's contact information in ARPS, an alert is automatically added to eView.
For cases linked to eView, if a written notice of appointment is processed by the FO, the FO's system updates will cause the electronic folder to display a “Representative Involved” flag in eView.
For cases involving paper claim(s) files: OHO or OAO staff will send a copy of the notice of appointment or updated contact information to the servicing FO. OHO or OAO staff must attach a completed form SSA-1128, “Representative Involved” flag, to the outside lower, right corner of the paper claim(s) file. See POMS GN 03905.025 for Form SSA-1128 and GN 03910.040 for specific information needed on the form SSA-1128.
C. Multiple Representatives
A claimant can appoint multiple representatives. OHO or OAO staff will process information for each registered appointed representative to the claim in RASR. However, if a claimant appoints more than one individual to serve as representative, we require the claimant to designate a principal representative because we will make contact with and send notices or requests for development only to the principal representative. We expect the principal representative to provide copies of notices or requests to other representative(s). See POMS GN 03910.040C. OHO and OAO staff will not send notices to non-principal representatives and should not remove electronic cases from eSign for this purpose.
On receipt of a notice of appointment, OHO or OAO staff will ensure that the representative designated as the principal representative appears as the claimant's representative in CPMS for cases pending with OHO and in ARPS for cases pending with OAO. For registered representatives, OHO and OAO staff will also indicate or update the principal representative designation in RASR.
If a claimant appoints multiple representatives at different times and has not designated a principal representative, when feasible and appropriate OHO and OAO staff will contact the claimant to find out who the claimant wants to serve as the principal representative. If contact is not feasible or appropriate, we consider the most recently appointed representative to be the claimant's principal representative. If the claimant indicates an intent to terminate any representative's appointment, OHO or OAO staff will inform the claimant that the revocation must be in writing, dated, and signed by the claimant. See HALLEX I-1-1-30 B and POMS GN 03910.060B.3..
OHO staff should refer to SHOP section 22.214.171.124 for technical guidance on processing and documenting the principal representative.
D. Other Representation Forms
The following are other forms we use to document a representative's identifying information and registration for direct payment. OHO and OAO staff may receive these forms and should handle them as indicated below.
Form SSA-1694, Request for Business Entity Taxpayer Information
This form is optional. We use the form to register firms, organizations, or other entities that employ individual representatives.
We encourage entities to submit this form because it allows SSA to send a copy of the individual representative's Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to the employing entity for a correct and efficient reconciliation of employees' fees.
Representatives or employing entities can submit this form online by visiting the Business Services Online (BSO) page or by contacting the Employer Reporting Specialists (ERS) in the Office of Earning & International Operations (OEIO) at 1-800-772-6270 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). See POMS GN 03913.050.
If an OHO or OAO office receives this form, staff should return the form to the representative to resubmit as instructed in D.1.c. above. See also POMS GN 03913.005C.
Form SSA-1699, Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment
This form is required if a representative seeks direct payment of a fee. It is optional for representatives who do not seek direct payment. We use this form for general representative registration, and it is not case specific.
Representatives submit this form only once by faxing the completed form to OEIO at 1-877-268-3827. (See POMS GN 03913.001.) Subsequently, representatives are responsible for updating any changes in their personal, professional, or business affiliation information by resubmitting the Form SSA-1699 using the Representative Identification (Rep ID) number obtained during their initial registration. See POMS GN 03913.010. The ERS is responsible for reviewing this form for completeness.
If OHO or OAO receives a new or updated Form SSA-1699, staff will follow instructions in POMS GN 03913.012A to forward the Form SSA-1699 to OEIO.
OHO uses the Form SSA-1699 to enroll representatives for online access to electronic folders. This process is by invitation only.
A previously used form SSA-1695, which is now obsolete, has been incorporated into form SSA-1696. If OHO or OAO receives a form SSA-1695 the instructions in HALLEX I-1-2-95 apply. OHO staff will follow the instructions in Standard Hearings Operations Procedure (SHOP) section 126.96.36.199.