I-1-2-41.Fee Agreement Administrative Review — General Policy

Last Update: 1/28/03 (Transmittal I-1-44)

A. Administrative Review Processes

Under the fee agreement process, there are two separate and distinct administrative review processes:

  • the review of the determination approving or disapproving a fee agreement, and

  • the review of the amount of the fee determined under a fee agreement.

B. Who May Request Review

The claimant or representative can protest the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) determination approving or disapproving a fee agreement by requesting administrative review.

When a claimant, affected auxiliary beneficiary, representative, or decision maker disagrees with SSA's determination on the amount of the fee, he/she may protest that determination by requesting an administrative review.

It is possible for the claimant and representative to file two requests for administrative review:

  1. When he/she receives notice of the approval or disapproval of the fee agreement.

  2. When we have reversed the disapproval of the fee agreement, set a fee amount under the agreement, and the claimant or representative objects to the amount of the fee; or when we have reversed the approval of the fee agreement, authorized a fee amount under the fee petition process, and the claimant or representative objects to the amount of the fee.

C. Time Limit for Requesting Review

The timeframe for requesting administrative review of either the action on the fee agreement or the amount of the fee authorized under the fee agreement is 15 days from the date of receipt of the respective notice. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, assume receipt within 5 days of the date of the notice. In foreign cases, assume receipt within 14 days of the date of the notice.

If a request is filed more than 15 days after the date the notice was received, the requestor must state in writing why it was not filed on time. In such cases, SSA will conduct an administrative review only if it determines that there was good cause for not filing the request on time.

D. Finality of Determination

SSA's determination on administrative review for the fee agreement process is final and binding. (See sections 206(a)(3)(C) and 1631(d)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.)