Appointed Representative Services (ARS)
ARS is an application that allows appointed representatives to view electronic folder (eFolder) documents in real time, to download eFolder contents including multimedia files, and upload medical evidence and other documents directly into a claimant's eFolder.
Using ARS will give you real time and up-to-date access to your claimant's electronic folders for cases pending at the initial, reconsideration, hearings, and appeals levels. Representatives may also download status reports with key information regarding their pending and recently closed cases at the hearings and appeals levels.
Note for representatives that do not request direct pay:
Non-attorney representatives that do not request direct payment of authorized fees are still eligible to enroll for eFolder access. This annotated 1699 demonstrates how to fill out the 1699 for eFolder access only (i.e., no direct pay). This form should be used as a guide when filling out the official 1699. Please do not submit the annotated form.
Enrolling in ARS
Representatives with cases pending at the hearings or appeals levels are eligible to enroll. Enrollment for eFolder access has several steps:
- Contact your local hearing office and request an invitation to enroll.
- Receive in the mail an invitation notice and a specially marked Form SSA-1699, Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment.
- Complete and sign the SSA-1699, then fax it to 1-877-268-3827 for processing.
- Once the 1699 is processed, you will be mailed a User ID and Rep ID.
- Contact your local hearing office to arrange a date, time, and location to complete the in-person enrollment. (Note: During COVID-19, enrollments are being conducted via telephone appointment.)
- Attend the scheduled enrollment event and bring the following:
- Your invitation notice
- A valid government-issued photo ID
- A text-enabled cell phone
You must follow all the steps above to enroll for eFolder access. If you have any questions regarding the enrollment process, please contact your local hearing office.
Current ARS Users
ARS User Guides
- AR Change Text-Enabled Cell Phone Number User Guide
- AR Contact OHO Office User Guide
- AR eFolder Access User Guide
- AR Send Individual Response User Guide
- AR Status Reports User Guide
- AR Track Status of Submissions User Guide
- AR Uploading Without a Barcode User Guide
Direct payment is for representatives who want to receive their authorized fees directly from Social Security Administration rather than from their claimants. Eligibility information may be found under Information About Representation.
To enroll for direct pay, complete Form 1699 Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment and fax it to (877) 268-3827.
Frequently Asked Questions
An attorney or non-attorney eligible for direct payment of authorized fees may complete and submit Form SSA-1699, even if he or she is not representing a claimant at this time.
If you have already registered with us as an appointed representative and need to update your information, you must complete Form SSA-1699. Use the REP ID you received at registration rather than your SSN when completing Form SSA-1699 for updating your information.
You may update your registration information by completing a new Form SSA-1699 if your personal, professional, or business affiliation information changes. This includes information related to disbarments, suspension, or sanctions.
Open the PDF document, type your responses, and print the form. Review the entire form for accuracy and sign all attestations. We return incomplete forms. This will cause a delay in registration.
Fax the completed form to (877) 268-3827. Do not fax more than one form at a time.
Note: We recommend you type your responses so we can accurately collect your registration information. SSA fill-in PDF forms use the features provided with Adobe Acrobat products.
Representatives can also submit the SSA-1696 through the "Contact OHO" feature in ARS.
A specialized unit of technicians in Baltimore processes your registration information. SSA returns the form if critical elements have been omitted (representative name, address, SSN or REP ID, signatures). An SSA technician will attempt to contact you if essential information is missing that warrants a pen-and-ink change (EIN, notice address, tax address, etc.).
Once your registration is successfully processed, we will mail a notice of confirmation and a USER and REP ID to you. The notice will explain your next steps.
Direct payment is for representatives who want to receive their authorized fees directly from Social Security Administration rather than from their claimants.
Attorney representatives are eligible for direct payment of authorized fees as long as they complete a one-time registration using Form SSA-1699 and submit Form SSA-1696 Claimant's Appointment of a Representative for each claimant they represent before SSA.
Non-attorney representatives who want direct payment must meet certain prerequisites. More information is available on the Attorneys & Appointed Representatives page.
Call 1-800-772-6270 for assistance. If you are hearing impaired call our TTY number at 1-800-325-0078. You may also visit SSA Online Answers.
Electronic Folder Access Questions
If you cannot access a case at the initial and reconsideration levels, it is likely your SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) has not yet been processed. You will have access as soon as your SSA-1696 has been processed by the field office.
If you have received notice that your 1696 was processed and you are the representative on record, but you cannot access the case, please send the following information to OHO.HQ.ARS@ssa.gov:
- Rep name
- Rep ID
- Claimant name (first and last)
- Last 4 digits of the claimant SSN
- Error message received when attempting to access the case
As a reminder, ARS will suspend a user’s account when they have attempted to access 10 SSNs in a 24 hour period for which they are not the representative of record (i.e., cases where the 1696 has not been processed). We strongly recommend representatives keep this limitation in mind when accessing initial and reconsideration cases.
You may call the Social Security Electronic Records Express Help Desk at 1-866-691-3061 or send them an email at Electronic-Records-Express@ssa.gov, or you should contact the office where you are sending the document or the office that requested the information.
- You may have entered the wrong social security number
- You may not be the representative assigned to the case in our case processing systems (i.e., your 1696 hasn’t been processed)
- The case may not be fully electronic
For additional help, contact OHO.HQ.ARS@ssa.gov.
You will receive this message if you had 10 unsuccessful attempts to access electronic folders within a 24 hour period. You should contact the Social Security Administration at 1-866-691-3061 to reinstate your access to the service.
No, this restarts the clock and the count for failed attempts (10).
An email will be sent to you when your requested documents are ready for pick-up. For more detailed information about this process, please see the eFolder Access user guide on this webpage under ARS User Guides.
If it has been more than 48 hours and you have not received an email, request the documents again.
No, the files remain for 24 hours after you begin the download process.
First, check the status of your submission by using the Track Status of Submissions feature on the ERE home page.
- If 24 hours has passed since you uploaded the file and that status shows the file is Processing, contact the SSA office handling the case.
- If the status is Sent but the file is not in the eFolder, contact the SSA office handling the case.
- If the status is Error, view the submission details for more information. The file you tried to upload may be password protected or there may be a virus associated with the file.