I-1-1-30.Termination of a Representative's Appointment
Last Update: 4/12/19 (Transmittal I-1-92)
A. When a Representative's Appointment Ends
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer recognize an individual as a claimant's representative when:
The claimant dismisses the representative and revokes his or her appointment;
The representative withdraws from the case;
SSA makes a final determination or decision, or takes another final action on the matter that led to the representative's appointment, and the period to appeal the final determination, decision, or action ends (i.e., 60 days from the date the claimant receives the notice(s));
SSA issues a final order or decision to suspend or disqualify the representative; or
The representative submits a petition for a fee that indicates that the representative's services have ended.
Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 03910.060 discusses situations in which the services of a representative may continue after SSA completes final action in a particular matter.
If there is reason to suspect that a representative is suspended or disqualified from representing claimants, Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) and Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff may access SSA's Intranet for a list of sanctioned representatives. Other questions concerning a representative's conduct may be referred through OHO or OAO management, consistent with Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-1-50 or I-1-2-81. OHO and OAO staff should not contact the Office of the General Counsel directly. See POMS GN 03910.020 for further information regarding who SSA will recognize as a “representative.”
B. Claimant Revokes Representative's Appointment
A claimant may revoke a representative's appointment at any time, but the revocation must be in writing and must be signed by the claimant. If a claimant attempts to revoke an appointment by orally stating the revocation to OHO or OAO staff, staff must document the conversation using Form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, and request that the claimant submit a signed statement to revoke the appointment. Staff will add copies of both documents to the claim(s) file and update the case control system(s). If a claimant submits a written statement revoking a representative's appointment to OHO or OAO, staff will notify the servicing field office (FO). For fully electronic cases, OHO staff will notify the FO by sending an electronic assistance request (AR) in eView, and OAO staff will notify the FO by entering an alert message in eView. OHO or OAO staff will also delete the “Representative Involved” flag in eView. For paper cases, OHO or OAO staff will fax a copy of the revocation to the servicing FO. If it appears that the representative is unaware of the revocation of his or her appointment, OHO or OAO staff will send a copy of the claimant's signed statement of the revocation of the appointment to the representative.
C. Representative Withdraws Representation
Under 20 CFR 404.1740 and 416.1540, a representative may only withdraw, without violating the representative rules of conduct and standards of responsibility, at a time and in a manner that does not disrupt the processing or adjudication of a claim and that provides the claimant adequate time to find new representation, if desired. A representative may be in violation of the rules of conduct and standards of responsibility if he or she withdraws after OHO schedules a hearing unless the representative can show that withdrawal is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances. These circumstances are determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include a medical emergency of the representative or an immediate relative, a natural disaster, or the loss of a family member.
When conditions for the timely withdrawal are satisfied, the representative will notify the claimant and SSA in writing and the representative must sign the withdrawal. OHO or OAO staff will add a copy of the representative's withdrawal to the claim(s) file and update the case control system. Staff will also notify the servicing FO of the representative's withdrawal. For fully electronic cases, OHO staff will notify the FO by sending an electronic AR in eView, and OAO staff will notify the FO by entering an alert message in eView. OHO or OAO staff will also delete the “Representative Involved” flag in eView. For paper cases, OHO or OAO staff will fax a copy of the withdrawal to the servicing FO.
D. Disclosures When a Representative's Appointment Has Ended
When a representative's appointment ends for one of the reasons listed in subsection A above, staff may not disclose any information about the claim(s) to the representative without the claimant's written consent (see POMS GN 03305.025).