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Social Security Administration (SSA) Annual Data for
Representation at Social Security Hearings
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The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) is the component of the SSA charged with providing hearings and reviews of hearings, upon request, for claimants whose applications for benefits have been denied at the earlier levels of adjudication. OHO directs a nationwide field organization of administrative law judges (ALJ) who conduct impartial “de novo” hearings and make decisions on appealed determinations involving retirement, survivors, disability, and supplemental security income benefits. OHO also has responsibility for the administrative appeals judges in the Appeals Council who conduct reviews of hearing decisions.
Every person has the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative while pursuing a claim for benefits, or other rights, under titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act. The appointment of any representative must be in writing and must be filed with SSA. An appointed representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for those services without first getting written approval from the Social Security Administration, even if the claim is denied. Also, an appointed representative cannot be someone the Social Security Administration has suspended or disqualified from representing claimants.
This dataset provides information on the percentage of claimants at OHO hearings who were represented either by an attorney or by a non-attorney representative. This data is at the national level by fiscal year for the period of 1979 through 2015.
Fiscal Year (FY): The 12-month period from October 1st through September 30th.
Attorney Representation: The percentage of claimants at the hearing level who were represented by an attorney.
Non-Attorney Representation: The percentage of claimants at the hearing level who were represented by a non-attorney representative.