Last Update: 1/28/03 (Transmittal I-1-44)
If the mailroom receives the fee agreement with or without a request for review, mailroom personnel will date stamp the fee agreement and route it to the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO), Disability Program Branch or Retirement and Survivors Insurance and SSI Branch (i.e., “OAO branch”), that has jurisdiction.
Obtain an ODAR case control query(ies) to determine the status of the claim and the location of the claim file.
Copy the fee agreement.
Based on the claim file location and/or the status of the appeal, follow the step(s) below.
Associate the fee agreement and copy with the appeals file.
Follow the steps in c. below when claim file is received.
File fee agreement in the claim(s) file and the copy in the appeals file, if that was not done previously.
Ensure the claimant or representative has submitted Form SSA-1696-U4 (Appointment of Representative) (refer to POMS GN 03910.090 Exhibit 2) or other notice of appointment (see I-3-0-87, OAO Branch Screening for Appointment of Representative). Place the original in the claim file and a copy in the appeals files.
Check the appropriate box on Form SSA-1128 (Representative Involved) (refer to I-1-1-90). If there is no SSA-1128 on the folder, staple one to the outside lower right of the claim(s) file.
Determine if the Appeals Council Automated Processing System (ACAPS) has complete and accurate information about the representative. If not, enter that information.
Follow procedures for processing the request for review.
Send the fee agreement and the appeals file to the Attorney Fee Branch (AFB), OAO.
See I-1-2-32 for AFB actions.
Place the fee agreement recommendation in the appeals file with the OAO working papers.
Associate the order with the decision.
Follow OAO procedures for processing the AC decision.
Place a copy of the determination in the appeals file.
Forward the fee agreement to the Administrative Appeals Judge (AAJ) who signed the decision as the “A” member. If the “A” member is not available, forward the documents to the “B” member.
When recommending that the AC issue a favorable or partially favorable decision with a fee agreement in file, the hearings and appeals analyst (analyst) will route the files to the AAJ through the AFB for action on the fee agreement.
If the record shows that the claimant has been declared legally incompetent, the analyst must so advise the AFB.