Every person has the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative while pursuing a claim or other rights under titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act. This site contains information and links to assist both claimants and their representatives through the benefit and appeals processes.
Beginning March 16, 2012, representatives who request, and are eligible for, direct fee payment are required to electronically file the reconsideration or hearing appeal along with the Disability Report – Appeal on medically denied Title II and Title XVI disability or blindness claims using the Internet Disability Appeal web portal. NOTE: You cannot electronically file appeals for the following issues as they are currently exclusions to the online appeals system: disability cessations, partially favorable decisions, date of onset decisions, and non-medical appeals.
A claimant may appoint a qualified individual to represent him or her in doing business with Social Security. The appointment must be in writing and must be filed with SSA. If the claimant appoints a representative, the representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for those services without first getting written approval from the Social Security Administration, even if the claim is denied. To get this approval, the representative must use one of Social Security's fee authorization processes.
If you are helping someone prepare an Internet Social Security Benefit Application:
- You cannot electronically sign the application on behalf of the applicant. Only the person you are helping can electronically sign his or her Internet Social Security Benefit Application and attest to the accuracy of the information provided.
- If the applicant wishes to appoint you as his or her official representative, we will need a written statement appointing you to represent him or her in dealings with Social Security. You may use a Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) for this purpose.
If you are helping someone appeal a denied disability application, depending on the reason, you may be required to file the appeal online. If the application is denied for:
- Medical reasons, and you are requesting and eligible for direct fee payment, the Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report must be completed and submitted online.
- Non-medical reasons, contact their local Social Security Office or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to request an appeal. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.
Learn more about how we use the forms above, as they relate to registration for appointed representative services and direct payment of fees.