Representing Social Security Claimants

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Tips and Best Practices for Appointed Representatives

Best Practices

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Frequently Asked Questions

News Updates

EDPNA continuing education courses

1/16/2024 - The required 2024 continuing education courses for EDPNAs are now available. To remain eligible for direct payment, an EDPNA must certify the completion of each of these courses by email to StratComm, Inc. on or before September 30, 2024.

Registering as a Social Security Representative Today 

12/28/2023 - You can register as a Social Security representative today as an attorney or non-attorney. Representatives do not need to have pending cases with us to register, but registration has many advantages. By registering as a representative, you will:

  • Have access to active electronic folders that contain information about your clients’ cases.
  • Receive some notices electronically.
  • Receive notification of new representative-related services as we develop them.
To register, print, complete, and fax the completed Form SSA-1699 Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment to us at 1-877-268-3827. This fax number is exclusively for Form SSA-1699. We cannot process any other documents received at this fax number.

Please note that we recently mailed letters to several unregistered representatives communicating this same information. However, this letter listed an incorrect, non-working fax number for submission of Form SSA-1699. We apologize for this error and encourage you to use the correct fax number listed above (1-877-268-3827).

You can learn more at:
You may also want to subscribe to receive regular updates to our Representatives Social Security Claimants webpage.

New fax number for Form SSA-1694

11/8/2023 - Our fax number for the submission of Form SSA-1694 (Request for Business Entity Taxpayer Information) has changed! Please make a note that the new number is 1-833-597-1429.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require us to report any fees we pay of $600 or more to a representative in a calendar year. To help representatives and their employers or affiliated entities reconcile their financial accounts for tax purposes, we issue IRS Forms 1099-MISC or -NEC to the representatives and entities as appropriate. However, we can do that only if the entity is registered. As this year is ending, we encourage all representatives who work for or are affiliated with an entity to register it so that we can issue them the appropriate Form IRS-1099.

Please DO NOT send any representational forms, communications, or other documents to this fax number as it may delay or prevent the processing of the registration and other documents.

Appeals Council Change of address

11/3/2023 - The address for the Appeals Council has changed. To avoid processing delays, please use the following address for submitting appeals or fee petitions (Form SSA-1560):

Social Security Administration
Office of Appellate Operations
Attn: Attorney Fee Branch
6401 Security Blvd Baltimore, MD 21235-6401

As a reminder, the preferred method to request an Appeals Council Review of an Administrative Law Judge decision or dismissal is by using the SSA secure online process available at AC iAppeal Online.

e1696 Portal update

5/15/2023 - We updated the e1696 portal, which allows the online completion, signing, and submission of the SSA-1696, Claimant’s Appointment of a Representative form. Claimant representatives can now complete most sections of the electronic notice of appointment form. Submission of the form is still a two-step process, but claimants only need to decide on the disclosure option and sign the form. Additionally, the submission was previously accessible for five days after which representatives had to restart their submissions. The form is now accessible and available to the parties for 15 days.

Representing Social Security Claimants

11/7/2022 - The EDPNA Program is now being serviced by StratComm, Inc. As part of the new contract, we have revised the EDPNA webpage Representing SSA Claimants - Direct Payment to Eligible Non-Attorney Representatives, which is accessible through the left-side tab "Information About Representation – Eligible for Direct Payment Non-Attorneys". All information about the EDPNA program is housed on this site, including links to continuing education courses and updated information regarding the annual examination, as it becomes available.

Increase in maximum fee for the fee agreement process

On June 30, 2022, we announced in the Federal Register that the maximum fee under the fee agreement process will increase to $7,200 beginning November 30, 2022. At that time, we may approve a fee agreement up to the new maximum fee limit if the fee agreement meets the statutory conditions for approval, no exceptions to the fee agreement process exist, and the favorable determination or decision is issued on or after this date.

Tips and Best Practices for Appointed Representatives

On April 12, 2022, we published a revised “Tips and Best Practices for Appointed Representatives” document. It is located under the Resources, Fact Sheets and Guides tab on this landing page. The fact sheet includes updated information about registration for direct fees, appointment procedure, and fee payment options.

To view older posts, visit Archival Link.

How Representatives Can Help

A claimant may appoint a qualified individual to represent him or her in doing business with Social Security. The appointment must be in writing and must be filed with SSA. If the claimant appoints a representative, the 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. To get this approval, the representative must use one of Social Security's fee authorization processes.

If you are helping someone prepare an Internet Social Security Benefit Application:

  • You cannot electronically sign the application on behalf of the applicant. Only the person you are helping can electronically sign his or her Internet Social Security Benefit Application and attest to the accuracy of the information provided.
  • If you submit the online application on behalf of the applicant, the agency will attempt to contact him or her directly by telephone to verify the applicant’s intent to file, confirm the information provided, and to give him or her the opportunity to provide a verbal signature for the application and other relevant documents. We will also mail the applicant a copy of the Application Summary, which he or she can sign and return to us instead using the telephone signature process.
  • If the applicant wishes to appoint you as his or her official representative, we will need a written statement appointing you to represent him or her in dealings with Social Security. You may use a Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) for this purpose.

If you are helping someone appeal a denied disability application, depending on the reason, you may be required to file the appeal online. If the application is denied for:

Forms Frequently Used by Representatives

Important Reminder

Representatives should use one channel only (online, mail, or fax to submit appointment-related forms and/or other evidentiary documents. Duplicate submissions may result in delays in processing the documents.

Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment (Form SSA-1699)

Claimant’s Appointment of a Representative (Form SSA-1696)

Request for Business Entity Taxpayer Information (Form SSA-1694) Online and Paper Versions

Learn more about how we use the forms above, as they relate to registration for appointed representative services and direct payment of fees.

Petition to Obtain Approval of Fees (Form SSA-1560)

Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (Form SSA-827)

Information for Third Party Entities that Pay Representational Fees

Prior to charging or collecting a fee from a claimant or a third party for services provided in any proceeding before the Social Security Administration (SSA), a representative generally must obtain SSA's authorization.

The regulations at 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1720 and 416.1520 provide that when a third-party entity pays the representative's fee and certain conditions are met, the SSA does not need to authorize the representative's fee. SSA does not need to authorize the fee under the following conditions:

  • The claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries are free of direct or indirect financial liability to pay a fee or expenses, either in whole or in part, to a representative or to someone else; and
  • A third-party entity, or a government agency from its own funds, pays the fee and expenses incurred, if any, on behalf of the claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries; and
  • The representative submits to SSA a form SSA-1696 (or a written statement) waiving the right to charge and collect a fee and expenses from the claimant and any auxiliary beneficiaries as specified in GN 03920.020B.3b.

Note: When a representative wants to request a fee from the claimant(s)/auxiliary beneficiary(ies) and a third-party, we must authorize all fees since the above criteria are not met (i.e., claimant or auxiliary beneficiaries are liable for a fee), hence the representative should disclose any payments from a third-party prior to authorization.