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Social Security Administration

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Ineligibility and Protest Procedures

The PRA requires you to meet certain requirements before we determine that you are eligible to receive direct fee payment. The requirements are located on the general information page. Once we determine that you are eligible to receive direct fee payment, you must continue to meet the requirements.

Protest Information

We require that you submit your protest in writing. We limit all protests to 10 calendar days from the date you receive our notice finding you ineligible. We assume you received the notice 5 days after the date on the notice, unless you can show us that you did not receive the notice within the 5-day period. Every protest must include supporting facts and complete documentation. Our action in response to a protest is final and will not be subject to further review. If we determine you are ineligible for direct pay, you will not receive direct fee payment in any case in which we effectuate a determination or decision while the period of ineligibility is in effect.

Applicants

If you do not attest that you meet our education or equivalent qualifications requirement on the application form and we find that you are ineligible to take the examination because you did not meet this requirement, you can protest this finding. If you file a protest and we confirm our earlier finding, you cannot take the examination.

If you do not pass our criminal background check and we find that you are ineligible to take the examination, you can protest this finding. If you file a protest and we confirm our earlier finding, you will be ineligible to take the examination.

You cannot protest your examination scores. We use several checks to verify the accuracy of the test scores. If you fail the examination you can reapply during a subsequent application period, but you must complete a new application and pay the application fee each time you reapply.

If you take and pass the examination, but we find that you provided false or misleading information about your education or equivalent qualifications, and we inform you that you are ineligible to receive direct payment, you can protest this finding. If you do not protest, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment. If you protest and we confirm our earlier finding, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment. We may refer the information to our Office of the General Counsel for their decision about initiating a sanction action against you.

If you pass our written examination, you are eligible to receive direct fee payment when you provide proof of sufficient liability insurance in the amount we prescribe and proof of education or equivalent qualifications. You cannot protest our finding if you do not provide this documentation. In this situation, you are eligible to receive direct fee payment when you provide this proof, assuming that you continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.

Eligible Non-Attorney Representatives

We continue to monitor whether you meet our requirements and remain eligible to receive direct fee payment. We may find you ineligible to receive direct fee payment if you:

  1. Provided false or misleading information about your bachelor's degree or equivalent qualifications;

  2. Would fail our criminal background check if conducted today;

  3. Have not provided sufficient proof of maintaining liability insurance; or

  4. Have not completed or provided documentation of the required continuing education courses.

You can protest our finding, if we find that you provided false or misleading information about your bachelor's degree or equivalent qualifications, or would fail our criminal background check if we conducted one today. If you do not protest, we will make you permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment beginning with the month after the month the protest period ends. If you protest and we confirm our earlier finding, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment the month after the month we uphold our finding. If we find that you have misrepresented information about your education, background, continuing education courses, or liability insurance coverage, we may refer this information to our Office of the General Counsel for their decision about initiating a sanction action against you.

If you do not maintain continuous liability insurance coverage since the last time we requested verification, you will be ineligible for direct payment for at least six (6) full calendar months. You have the opportunity to protest our finding that you have not provided sufficient proof that you maintained continuous liability insurance coverage. If you do not protest, you will be ineligible for direct fee payment for six (6) full calendar months beginning with the month after the month the protest period ends. If you file a protest and the action we take in response to the protest confirms our earlier finding, you will be ineligible for direct payment for six (6) full calendar months beginning with the month after we uphold our finding. You must provide us with documentation that you maintain the required liability insurance coverage no earlier than the sixth month of the period of ineligibility. After the 6-month suspension is over, you will resume direct fee payment in the first month after the month we find that you have the required insurance coverage.

If you do not take the prescribed continuing education courses by the deadline we provide or if you fail to provide us with the necessary proof that you completed the prescribed courses, you will be ineligible for direct fee payment for at least six (6) full calendar months. You will have the opportunity to protest our finding that you have not taken and provided documentation of the required continuing education courses. If you do not protest, you will be ineligible for direct fee payment for six (6) full calendar months beginning with the month after the month the protest period ends. If you file a protest and the action we take in response to the protest confirms our earlier finding, you will be ineligible for direct payment for six (6) full calendar months beginning with the month after we uphold our finding. After the 6-month period of ineligibility is over, you will resume direct fee payment in the first month after the month you demonstrate that you meet the continuing education requirement. You may submit this required documentation at any time during or after the end of the 6-month period of ineligibility.

False or Misleading Information

If we find that you provided false or misleading information about your bachelor's degree or equivalent qualifications, or would fail our criminal background check if we conducted one today, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment. You have the opportunity to protest our action. If you do not protest, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment beginning with the month after the month the protest period ends. If you protest and we confirm our earlier finding, you will be permanently ineligible to receive direct fee payment the month after the month we uphold our finding. If we find that, you have misrepresented information about your education, background, continuing education courses, or liability insurance coverage we may refer this information to our Office of the General Counsel for their decision about initiating a sanction action against you.