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New Form 1695 SSA Procedure

Posted on in Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on January 30th, 2012 that it would change its internal procedures for handling non-attorney and Social Security disability attorney 1695 forms. Processing of 1695 forms in conjunction with the Appointment of Representative and Fee Agreement documents insures that a representative is recognized by SSA for a particular claim and will be paid attorney's fees along with it if the case is approved and back benefits awarded. The problem that disability lawyers have faced is that the local District Offices (DO) are inefficient and fail to properly process documents. If the three documents above that attorneys send to SSA are not processed, a claimant may be stuck fighting the government by themselves. For this reason, the 1695, Fee Agreement, and Appointment of Representative forms are extremely important documents.

The new procedure for processing 1695's can be found here. Although SSA made a move to improve the processing of 1695 forms, I personally do not think it was the right move. The simple truth is that the local DO's will always misplace documents. The more documents that they need to process, the more room for error and the increased likelihood of something going wrong. It is very rare in my practice that my documents are correctly processed on the first try. Typically, our disability firm has to send the same documents multiple times just to get processed.

A more simple solution to this problem would be to require less documents, thereby reducing the chances of error. The Appointment of Representative and 1695 forms should be combined. This would decrease the documents that SSA processes by one page, be more friendly to the environment, and increase the likelihood of progress being made between attorneys and SSA.

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