An Appointed Representative

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How can a representative help me with my Social Security claim?

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You may appoint a qualified person to represent you when doing business with Social Security. Use Form SSA-1696-U4, Appointment of Representative to tell us in writing about the person you appoint. You can send the completed, signed, and dated document to your local Social Security office, but for faster service ask your representative to initiate an e1696. Your representative must give us a valid email address for you. With this service, you can complete, sign, and submit your appointment of a representative online, safely and quickly.

A representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for these services without written approval from us.

See Your Right To Representation for more information.

How can I submit the documentation required to ensure I am appropriately appointed as my claimant’s representative before the hearing?

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It is extremely important that we have your appointment as representative on file before the hearing. For an appointment of representative to be valid, the claim(s) file must contain a completed and properly signed notice of appointment, which can be found at form SSA-1696, Claimant’s Appointment of Representative, or another written document that meets the requirements of 20 CFR 404.1707 and 416.1507. Representatives who are registered for Appointed Representative Services (ARS) can use the “Contact OHO Office” function in Electronic Records Express (ERE) to submit the duly executed appointment document directly to a designated email box for the servicing hearing office. You can find additional information about the “Contact OHO Office” tool at https://www.ssa.gov/ar. If you are not registered for ARS, you can use a physical fax machine or e-fax to send the document to the specific hearing office’s email, using the toll-free fax number with area code “833” assigned to the servicing hearing office.

I use Appointed Representative Services or Electronic Records Express, and I am locked out of my account. What do I do?

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Please call 1-866-691-3061 with questions or concerns regarding Appointed Representative Services (ARS) password resets, Electronic Records Express (ERE) password resets, and new ERE account registration. We are available to assist you from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. After hours questions about password resets and new ERE account registration may be emailed to electronic-records-express@ssa.gov.

Appointed Representatives experiencing problems with accessing electronic folders should contact the OHO.HQ.ARS@ssa.gov mailbox for assistance.

What is the best way for me to communicate with my local hearing office?

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Our hearing office employees continue to answer our general inquiry lines during regular business hours for local hearing offices, and you can find your local hearing office phone number by accessing our Hearing Office Locator. We strongly recommend representatives submit information to our hearing offices electronically, using the following mechanisms:

  • Appointed Representative Services/Electronic Records Express - Registered representatives with a recognized notice of appointment in a case should continue to use the “Upload New File” function when viewing a claimant’s electronic folder in Appointed Representative Services (ARS) to upload documents. This process does not require a barcode. Alternatively, representatives can also submit documents with a barcode using the “Send Individual Response” function in ARS and Electronic Records Express (ERE). Registered representatives should use these methods to submit any documents to us electronically, whenever possible.
  • Fax and e-Fax – Claimants and Representatives can use a physical fax machine or their own e-fax solution to send documents. Sending documents to us via fax now delivers a secure, electronic copy to the specific hearing office’s designated email inbox. To submit documents electronically via fax, simply use the toll-free fax number with area code “833” assigned to the servicing hearing office. You can find your local hearing office e-Fax number by accessing our Hearing Office Locator.
  • “Contact OHO” email – Representatives registered through Appointed Representative Services can use the “Contact OHO Office” function to send a one-way communication, including the written notice of appointment, such as the SSA-1696, to a designated email box for the servicing hearing office.

What is the best way for me to submit a fee petition?

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When an appointed representative receives a hearing decision and intends to file a fee petition, the most efficient way to submit the fee petition is to submit the petition with the “Contact OHO Office” feature in Appointed Representatives Services (ARS).

For appointed representatives submitting fee petitions who do not have Electronic Records Express access or those who were previously terminated/ended their services prior to the case being closed out, please fax the fee petition to the hearing office using the e-Fax number, which can be found using our Hearing Office Locator.