I-1-1-30.Termination of a Representative's Appointment
Last Update: 11/14/22 (Transmittal I-1-104)
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 the appointment;
The representative withdraws from representing the claimant in 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;
The representative submits a petition for a fee that indicates the representative's services have ended; or
The representative dies.
Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 03910.060 discusses situations in which the services of a representative may continue after SSA completes its 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 a list of sanctioned representatives in the Registration, Appointment and Services for Representatives (RASR) application. 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.
For technical guidance on using RASR, OHO staff should refer to Standard Hearings Operations Procedure (SHOP) section 220.127.116.11.
B. Claimant Revokes Representative's Appointment
A claimant may revoke a representative's appointment at any time, but the revocation must be in writing, dated, and signed by the claimant. For convenience, the claimant may use Form SSA-1696 SUP-1 (Claimant's Revocation of the Appointment of a Representative).
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 (ROC), and request that the claimant submit a written, dated, and signed statement to revoke the appointment. Staff will add copies of both documents to the claim(s) file.
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 can only withdraw their own representation. They cannot withdraw representation by other representatives either on the same case or other cases, even if they are employed by the same firm or entity. For convenience, representatives may use Form SSA-1696 SUP-2 (Representative's Withdrawal of Acceptance of an Appointment).
A representative who withdraws after OHO schedules a hearing may be in violation of the rules of conduct and standards of responsibility unless the representative can show that the 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 document the representative's withdrawal as described in subsection D, below.
If a claimant is represented by multiple representatives, all representatives who wish to withdraw must provide their signatures either together on the same document or in separate documents. If a representative purports to withdraw for other representatives we will not recognize the withdrawal as effective for any representative who has not signed a statement of withdrawal.
For additional guidance regarding receipt of a withdrawal when multiple representatives have been appointed, OHO staff should refer to SHOP section 18.104.22.168.
If a representative attempts to orally withdraw representation to OHO or OAO staff, or does not sign the statement withdrawing representation, staff must contact the representative to request that the representative submit a written, dated, and signed statement to withdraw the appointment. Similarly, if it appears a representative intended to withdraw representation for any representative who has not signed the withdrawal, staff must contact the representative(s) and remind them of the requirement to individually sign a withdrawal of appointment. Staff will document any conversation using a ROC, and staff will add copies of the ROC and withdrawal to the claim(s) file.
D. Processing the Termination of a Representative
1. Process the Termination (revocation/withdrawal) in the System(s)
When a claimant submits a written, dated, and signed statement to OHO or OAO revoking a representative's appointment, or when a representative withdraws, staff will process the termination by updating either the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS) at OHO, or the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) at OAO. For registered representatives, OHO or OAO staff will also update RASR to indicate the termination. OHO staff need not update the Hearings and Appeals Case Processing System (HACPS) because information added or updated in RASR automatically propagates in HACPS.
2. Document the Claim(s) File and Notify the Field Office (FO)
OHO or OAO staff will add the Form SSA-1696 SUP-1, SSA-1696 SUP-2, or other document terminating the appointment, and/or the ROC documenting the claimant's revocation of the appointment or describing any conversation(s) with the representative(s) to the claim(s) file. OHO or OAO staff will also notify the servicing FO as follows:
In fully electronic cases: OHO staff will follow the instructions in SHOP section 22.214.171.124 regarding when and how to notify the FO about the termination. OAO staff will email the FO about the revocation or withdrawal. If there is no other appointed representative on the claim, OHO or OAO staff will also delete the “Representative Involved” flag in eView.
In paper cases: OHO or OAO staff will send a copy of the revocation to the servicing FO. If there is no other appointed representative involved, staff will remove the “Representative Involved” flag from the paper folder.
3. Notify Representative, as Necessary
If it appears that the representative is unaware of the claimant's revocation of the appointment, OHO or OAO staff will send a copy of the claimant's signed statement of the revocation of the appointment to the representative. In cases with multiple representatives, if a representative withdraws and it appears that any of the remaining representatives are unaware of the withdrawal, OHO or OAO staff will contact the remaining representatives to inform them of the withdrawal. Staff will document the contact(s) in a ROC and add it to the appropriate section of the claim(s) file.
When RASR is updated to document that a registered representative's appointment has been revoked or withdrawn, RASR releases automated notices to both the claimant and representative. If a representative is not registered in RASR, OHO and OAO staff must alert the FO so the FO can generate a manual notice(s). See POMS GN 03910.060B.3.
E. 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 former representative without the claimant's written consent, with limited exceptions. See POMS GN 03305.025 and HALLEX I-1-4-3 G.5., H., and I.
F. Former Representative's Fee for Services
When a representative's appointment ends for one of the reasons listed in subsection A above, the former representative may request a fee for services performed on the claimant's behalf, but we will authorize a fee only for services performed before the date the appointment was terminated. See HALLEX I-1-2-1 B. for more information.