I-1-2-31.Fee Agreement - Appeals Council Level — OAO Branch Procedures

Last Update: 1/28/03 (Transmittal I-1-44)

A. Receipt of a Fee Agreement-Mailroom Actions

If the mailroom receives the fee agreement with or without a request for review, mailroom personnel will date stamp the fee agreement and route it to the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO), Disability Program Branch or Retirement and Survivors Insurance and SSI Branch (i.e., “OAO branch”), that has jurisdiction.

B. OAO Branch Staff's Actions

1. Fee Agreement Received in Branch from Mailroom

  • Obtain an ODAR case control query(ies) to determine the status of the claim and the location of the claim file.

  • Copy the fee agreement.

  • Based on the claim file location and/or the status of the appeal, follow the step(s) below.

2. Request for Review Pending

a. Fee Agreement Received with Request for Review

  • Follow the procedures in I-3-1-23.

  • File the fee agreement and copy in the appeals file.

  • Follow the steps in c. below when claim file is received.

b. Only Appeals File in Branch

  • Associate the fee agreement and copy with the appeals file.

  • Follow the steps in c. below when claim file is received.

c. Claim File in/Received in Branch

  • File fee agreement in the claim(s) file and the copy in the appeals file, if that was not done previously.

  • Ensure the claimant or representative has submitted Form SSA-1696-U4 (Appointment of Representative) (refer to POMS GN 03910.090 Exhibit 2) or other notice of appointment (see I-3-1-15. Place the original in the claim(s) file.

  • Check the appropriate box on Form SSA-1128 (Representative Involved) (refer to I-1-1-90). If there is no SSA-1128 on the folder, staple one to the outside lower right of the claim(s) file.

  • Determine if the Appeals Council Automated Processing System (ACAPS) has complete and accurate information about the representative. If not, enter that information.

  • Follow procedures for processing the request for review.

3. Appeals Council (AC) Has Acted on Request for Review

Send the fee agreement and the appeals file to the Attorney Fee Branch (AFB), OAO.

4. Fee Agreement Recommendation and Unsigned AC Order Received from Attorney Fee Branch

See I-1-2-32 for AFB actions.

a. AC Has Not Issued Favorable Decision

  • Place the fee agreement recommendation in the appeals file with the OAO working papers.

  • Associate the order with the decision.

  • Follow OAO procedures for processing the AC decision.

b. AC Has Issued Favorable Decision

  • Place a copy of the determination in the appeals file.

  • Forward the fee agreement to the Administrative Appeals Judge (AAJ) who signed the decision as the “A” member. If the “A” member is not available, forward the documents to the “B” member.

C. OAO Hearings and Appeals Analyst Actions When Recommending a Favorable or Partially Favorable Decision

When recommending that the AC issue a favorable or partially favorable decision with a fee agreement in file, the hearings and appeals analyst (analyst) will route the files to the AAJ through the AFB for action on the fee agreement.


If the record shows that the claimant has been declared legally incompetent, the analyst must so advise the AFB.