An attorney or other representative who wants to charge or collect a fee for services provided in connection with a claim before the Security Administration (SSA) is required by law to first obtain SSA's approval of the fee.
The only exceptions are when:
- A third-party entity, which includes but is not limited to nonprofit organizations or government agencies, pays the fee and any expenses from its own funds and the claimant incurs no liability, directly or indirectly, for the cost of such services and expenses; and
- The representative submits to us a Form SSA-1696 (or a written statement) waiving the right to charge and collect a fee and expenses from the claimant or any auxiliary beneficiaries; or
- A court authorizes a fee for services provided as a legal guardian or a court-appointed representative.
A representative who has provided services in a claim before both SSA and a court of law may seek a fee from either or both, but generally neither has the authority to set a fee for services provided before the other.
To charge and collect a fee for services, the representative must use one of two mutually exclusive fee approval processes:
- The fee agreement process; or
- The fee petition process.
(For further information about these processes, see Representing Social Security Claimants.)
Using The Fee Petition Process
If the representative elects to use the fee petition process, the representative must file a fee petition with SSA. The representative can use
Instructions for completing the Form SSA-1560, are included with the PDF version of the form.
When using the fee petition process, the representative should request fee approval only after you complete all services for the claimant and any auxiliaries. You have the option to petition either before or after Social Security effectuates the determination(s).
Where to send this form
You must give the claimant a copy of the fee petition, each attachment and retain a copy for your records. Although you may file a fee petition at any Social Security office, you generally file the petition with the office shown below:
- If a court or the Appeals Council issued the decision, send the petition to:
Office of Appellate Operations
Attn: Attorney Fee Branch,
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041-3255
- If an Administrative Law Judge issued the decision, send the petition to him or her using the hearing office address.
- In most other cases, send the petition to the processing center address that appears at the top right of the claimant’s title II notice, or in a title XVI only case, to the servicing field office.