Security Unveils New "Representing Clients" Website
The Social Security Administration (SSA), recognizing
the importance of timely and accurate information for those who
represent claimants, today launched a new website on Social Security
Online. "Representing Clients" provides comprehensive
information for representatives and provides links to key SSA regulatory
and program resources.
"This website was created as a service to the
thousands of attorneys and other representatives who provide assistance
to people who apply for Social Security benefits," said Larry
G. Massanari, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. "The
right to representation is extremely important and this is part
of Social Security's continuing effort to enhance the claimant representation
The Social Security Act gives SSA the authority to
approve fees for individuals representing Social Security claimants.
In Social Security cases, when the representative is an attorney,
SSA pays the fee directly to the attorney from the claimant's past-due
benefits. In all other cases, SSA must approve the fee before a
representative can charge a claimant for their services. Fees are
most often authorized for representatives of claimants for disability
The website, located at www.ssa.gov/representation,
contains information on SSA regulations and operating procedures,
as well as links to the Social Security Handbook, Program Operations
Manual System (POMS), and relevant sections of the Code of Federal
Regulations. Specific information about the claimant representation
process is provided by topic:
--Exceptions to the Fee Agreement Procedure
--Model Fee Agreement
--Standards of Conduct for Representatives
--Code of Federal Regulations
--Form SSA-1696 Appointment of Representative
--Form SSA-1560 Petition to Obtain Approval of Fees
A "frequently asked questions" section provides
answers to commonly asked questions about representing clients.
The website also provides statistics on payment of fees. From February
2000 through July 2001, for example, SSA paid more than 300,000
fees to attorneys totaling more than $700 million.
In addition to the new website, SSA provides a wide
variety of publications that explain the disability application
and appeals process. Publications providing information for representatives
and claimants are available online at www.ssa.gov/pubs,
through SSA's toll-free telephone service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY
number 1-800-325-0778), or at any local Social Security office.
of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security
Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSAs
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.
SSA Press Office 4-H-9
West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973