I-3-0-40.Attorney Fee Branch

Last Update: 1/30/15 (Transmittal I-3-97)

A. Initial Fee Petitions

The Attorney Fee Branch (AFB) in the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) is responsible for reviewing and analyzing appointed representative fee petitions for decisions issued by the Appeals Council or a court. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-2-6.

AFB evaluates fee petitions in accordance with 20 CFR 404.1725(b) and 416.1525(b). See also HALLEX I-1-2-57. After its review, AFB will authorize a reasonable fee to the appointed representative for the services rendered based on the facts of the case.


When the Appeals Council exercises its authority to issue a decision, the A member administrative appeals judge is responsible for approving or denying a fee agreement associated with the record. See HALLEX I-1-2-6 C.1.

B. Requests for Administrative Review of Authorized Fees

AFB is responsible for processing requests for administrative review of an appointed representative's fee authorized by the Appeals Council under either the fee agreement or the fee petition process. AFB reviews and makes recommendations to the Deputy Chair or designee of the Appeals Council regarding:

  • The approval or disapproval of the fee agreement;

  • The amount of the fee issued under an approved fee agreement; or

  • The amount of the fee authorized under the fee petition process.

For general policy on these reviews, see HALLEX I-1-2.

C. Miscellaneous Actions

AFB reviews and screens miscellaneous requests regarding fee issues, both by telephone and in written correspondence. AFB takes necessary action when the request relates to an action before the Appeals Council and forwards other requests to the appropriate component for action.