Claimants for disability benefits have a right to appoint a representative, such as an attorney, to assist and help in any dealings with the Social Security Administration (SSA) involving claims for benefits. These include benefit claims under Title II (RSDI) for retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits; Title XVI (SSI), for supplemental security income claims; Title XVIII (Medicare Coverage), for claims related to entitlement to Medicare or enrollment in the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) plan; and Title VIII (SVB), for claims involving entitlement to Special Veterans’ Benefits.
Claimants may choose one or more representatives. It may be an attorney or other qualified person but it may not be an individual who, legally, may not act as a representative. It may also not be anyone suspended or disqualified from representation by the Social Security Administration.
After a representative is chosen, a claimant must inform the SSA in writing as soon as possible using a pre-designated form (Form SSA-1696-U4, Appointment of Representative) listing the name of any appointed representatives and signed by both the claimant and all representatives. While a claimant may appoint one or more people in a firm, corporation, or other organization as a representative, the firm, corporation, or organization may not be appointed as a whole.
Once a representative is appointed, he or she may act on a claimant’s behalf before the SSA by retrieving information from a claimant’s Social Security file; helping obtain medical records or information to support a claim; accompanying, or appearing on behalf of, a claimant at any interview, conference or hearing with the SSA; requesting a reconsideration, hearing or Appeals Council review; assisting a claimant and witnesses prepare for a hearing; and questioning any witnesses at a benefits hearing. A representative is entitled to receive information related to, and a copy of the SSA’s decision concerning, the disposition of a claim.
A claimant and his or her representative are both responsible for providing Social Security with truthful and accurate information. If either provides false information knowingly, or willfully, he or she may be subject to criminal liability and prosecuted.
Every application for social security benefits requires the consideration of a substantial list of issues over the life of a case. It’s one matter to apply for and receive benefits, but it’s another to understand what happens after this occurs over the long road ahead. The Sullivan Law Office provides assistance in ensuring that all applicants and recipients receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled in all types of disability cases. These include Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.