Direct Payment to Non-Attorney Representatives
On February 27, 2010, Congress enacted The Social Security Disability Applicants’ Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010 (PRA), Public Law No. 111-142 and revised the Act in two (2) main ways. First, the PRA permanently extended our authority to withhold 25% of a claimant’s past-due benefits and directly pay any authorized fees to attorney representatives for claims filed under title XVI of the Act. Second, the PRA permanently extended our authority to withhold 25% of past-due benefits and directly pay any authorized fees to eligible non-attorney representatives under titles II and XVI of the Act who meet the following requirements:
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education or at least four years of relevant professional experience and either a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate;
- Pass a written examination that the Social Security Administration (SSA) writes and administers which tests the knowledge of the relevant provisions of the Act and the most recent developments in SSA and court decisions affecting titles II and XVI of the Act;
- Secure and maintain continuous professional liability insurance or equivalent insurance, which SSA determines to be adequate to protect claimants in the event of malpractice by the representative;
- Undergo a criminal background check to ensure the representative’s fitness to practice before us; and
- Demonstrate ongoing completion of qualified courses of continuing education including education regarding ethics and professional conduct, which are designed to enhance professional knowledge in matters related to entitlement to, or eligibility for, benefits based on disability under titles II and XVI of the Act.
Prior to the passage of P.L. 111-142, Congress enacted a 5-year demonstration project, which provided direct payment to non-attorney representatives who met the same requirements as mentioned above. We held two (2) examinations in 2005 and one (1) examination each subsequent year through 2009. This demonstration project ended with the passage of P.L. 111-142.
Through the services of a private contractor, CPS HR Consulting, SSA determines if a non-attorney representative meets the requirements to be eligible for direct payment of fees for his or her claimant representative services.
You must also let us know of any changes to your mailing and email address, phone number, or if you have a name change by contacting CPS HR Consulting. You can contact CPS HR Consulting to update your information through any of the following methods.
You must also update your mailing and emailing address, phone number, name change, or payment information through the SSA-1699 process, Submitting a completed Form SSA-1699. You should continue to notify your local field office of these changes.
In addition, if at any time you have a name change, you must first fill out an application for a social security card (Form SS-5). You can get the form by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov on the Internet or any Social Security office or by calling Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.