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Social Security Administration

SSA LogoDirect Payment to Non-Attorney Representatives

Direct Payment Resources

SSA's website for representatives: www.ssa.gov/representation/

SSA's website for the SSA Act and regulations: www.ssa.gov/regulations/index.htm

The regulation for Non-Attorney Representatives- Revisions to Direct Fee Payment Rules www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-28/pdf/2011-19026.pdf

The Social Security Disability Applicant's Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010 (PRA) www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ142/pdf/PLAW-111publ142.pdf

Definitions

Applicant: A non-attorney who submits an application package.

Application fee: The fee remitted by a non-attorney representative at the same time as he or she submits an application for direct payment to the contractor. The current application fee is $1,000. SSA will determine any future increases in the fee.

Application Period: The period during which the applicant will submit his or her signed application, application fee, and signed authorization for release of information.

Continuing education requirement: Non-attorneys must demonstrate ongoing completion of qualified courses of continuing education, including education regarding ethics and professional conduct.

Direct Payment: Payment to the non-attorney representative from funds withheld by SSA from past-due benefits payable to the individual represented by the non-attorney.

Education requirement: Non-attorneys applying for direct payment must 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.

Eligible for Direct Payment Non-attorney (EDPNA): A non-attorney representative who SSA determines is qualified to receive direct payment of his or her fee.

Examination: A written examination non-attorneys must take and pass to qualify for direct payment. The written examination tests the non-attorney's knowledge of the relevant provisions of the Social Security Act (Act) and the most recent developments in SSA and court decisions affecting titles II and XVI of the Act.

Notices: Notices are communications provided to applicants and EDPNAs regarding eligibility for the examination, results of the examination, and eligibility or ineligibility for direct payment.

Professional liability insurance: A non-attorney representative must secure and maintain continuous professional liability insurance or equivalent insurance in an amount which SSA determines to be adequate to protect claimants in the event of malpractice by the representative.