I-1-2-41.Fee Agreement Administrative Review — General Policy
Last Update: 4/12/21 (Transmittal I-1-101)
A. Administrative Review Processes
There are two separate and distinct administrative review processes for fee agreements:
the review of the determination approving or disapproving a fee agreement, and
the review of the amount of the fee authorized under a fee agreement.
For information and delegation of authority for conducting administrative review of the approval or disapproval of a fee agreement, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) Manual I-1-2-42. For information and delegation of authority for conducting administrative review of the amount of the fee authorized under the fee agreement process, see HALLEX I-1-2-44.
Sections 206(a)(3) and 1631(d)(2) of the Social Security Act provide authority for administrative review under the fee agreement process (section 206(a)(3) for title II cases, and sections 206(a)(3) and 1631(d)(2) for title XVI-only and concurrent cases). The fee agreement process is mutually exclusive of the fee petition process in which the Social Security Administration (SSA) may authorize a “reasonable” fee for services rendered by a representative. The regulations setting forth authority for the administrative review of fees determined under the fee petition process do not apply to the fee amount authorized under the fee agreement process.
B. Who May Request Review
The claimant or representative can request administrative review of SSA's action on the fee agreement.
When a claimant, affected auxiliary beneficiary, representative, or decision maker disagrees with SSA's determination on the amount of the fee, he or she may request administrative review of that determination.
It is possible for the claimant and representative to file two requests for administrative review in the same case:
When he or she disagrees with the approval or disapproval of the fee agreement.
When he or she objects to the amount of the fee authorized under the fee agreement.
C. Time Limit for Requesting Review
The timeframe for requesting administrative review of the approval or disapproval of the fee agreement or the amount of the fee authorized under the fee agreement, is 15 days from the date of receipt of the respective fee agreement determination notice. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, SSA assumes receipt within 5 days of the date of the notice. In foreign cases, SSA assumes receipt within 14 days of the date of the notice.
If a request is filed more than 15 days after the date the notice was received, the requestor must state in writing why it was not filed on time. In such cases, SSA will conduct an administrative review only if it determines that there was good cause for not filing the request on time. For examples of good cause, refer to regulatory examples for fee the petition process at 20 CFR 404.1720(d)(2)(ii) and 416.1520(d)(2)(ii).