I-1-1-40.Rules Governing the Conduct of Representatives

Last Update: 3/29/13 (Transmittal I-1-63)

The Social Security Act (Act) authorizes the Commissioner to make and publish rules and regulations that are necessary to discharge the Commissioner's duties under the Act. As a result, the Commissioner promulgated regulations to implement the Act's provisions regarding representation of claimants.

Under the regulations, the Commissioner or his or her designee may, after due notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend or disqualify from practice as a representative before the Social Security Administration (SSA) any individual who:

Under 20 CFR 404.1770(a)(3)(ii) and 416.1570(a)(3)(ii), disqualification is the sole sanction available if a representative:

An employee in the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) or Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight (OARO) will generally refer suspected misconduct using the procedures in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-1-50. However, the Commissioner or his or her designee may also refer alleged violations to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation and potential criminal prosecution or civil action. If an OHO or OARO employee believes a criminal violation has occurred, see the instructions in HALLEX I-1-3-3, I-1-3-6, and I-1-3-9.

See 20 CFR 404.1740 and 416.1540 for more information about the rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for claimant representatives.

See Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 03970.010F for specific examples of violations of affirmative duties and engaging in prohibited conduct and POMS GN 03970.010G for examples of criminal violations.