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HALLEX

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-1-101

Chapter: I-1-2

Subject: Representative Fees

Background

This transmittal amends chapter I-1-2 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to update and clarify instructions regarding administrative review of the amount of a fee under the fee agreement process.

Explanation of Content and Changes

I-1-2-41 – In subsection A, we revised and added a note previously in HALLEX I-1-2-48 A, which distinguishes the statutory authority for conducting administrative review of a fee amount under the fee agreement process from the regulatory authority for administrative review in fee petition cases. In subsection B, we updated the reasons for which a claimant or representative can request review of a fee agreement. In subsection C, we added the regulatory reference for examples of good cause. We also made minor editorial changes throughout.

I-1-2-44 – We edited the title for clarity and revised the section to simplify the information and to update language. We made minor editorial corrections throughout. We revised subsection A by editing the title for clarity, removed the examples, and added a statement referring to HALLEX I-1-2-46 for more information on the review criteria when a decision maker requests review. We deleted from subsection B language about when we assume receipt of a request for review and added reference to HALLEX I-1-2-41 C concerning late filing. We revised subsection C to delete repetitive information and to simplify the designated authority for conducting review by placing bulleted information in the chart. We revised subsection D by editing the title and language for clarity. We also revised subsection E for clarity and removed duplicate language. We removed the NOTE concerning representative misconduct. In subsection E, we created additional structure, and moved into subsection E language concerning notice of action on administrative review previously found in subsection G. For simplification, we moved the information from subsection F to HALLEX I-1-2- 47.

I-1-2-46 – We updated the language and combined subsection A and parts of subsection B into a revised subsection A titled “Examine the File and Request for Administrative Review.” We changed part of the title of sub-subsection A.3 from “standard for reviewing” to “criteria” in relation to a decision maker's request for administrative review and included a note concerning representative misconduct previously in HALLEX I-1-2-44 E. We moved information on late filing or filing by an improper party to subsection C. We redesignated B.3 as subsection B, changed the title to “Initiate Additional Development,” and revised the language to clarify needed development. We added the example previously in HALLEX I-1-2-44 F.2 regarding developing the issue of the total fee when concurrent claims are involved. In subsection C, we removed the NOTE concerning representative disclosure and included new information from subsection B about handling late requests or requests made by an improper party. We revised subsection D to remove duplicate instructions and changed the title to “Follow up for Requested Information.” We simplified the language in subsection E and included a reference to HALLEX I-1-2-43 E.

I-1-2-47 – We reorganized the section and made other editorial changes. We added new information to subsection A that was previously in HALLEX I-1-2-44 F concerning consideration of the total fee under the fee agreement and moved the factors for assessing whether a fee is reasonable to subsection C. We revised subsection B to reflect updated policy. We revised subsection C to include the factors from subsection A regarding determination of a reasonable fee and moved the NOTE on a government entity's payment of a fee immediately below the factor on the fee amount. We added a new subsection D, titled “Take Appropriate Action,” and revised the language regarding the possible actions the reviewing official may take.

I-1-2-48 – In subsection A, we reorganized the information, and we revised the NOTE to clarify that the decision maker does not calculate fee amounts. We also deleted the examples, which dealt with the calculation of fee amounts. We revised and moved NOTE 1 about a transmittal letter to the claimant to subsection B and made minor editorial changes to NOTE 2. We changed the title of subsection B to “Distribute the Determination Notice,” updated the language, and added NOTE 1 from subsection A. We also made minor editorial changes throughout.

Date: April 12, 2021