Agency Payments to Claimant Representatives
Office Affiliation: The Office of Audit
Audit Report Number: A-05-15-15017
A claimant may appoint a qualified individual to act on his/her behalf in matters before the Social Security Administration (SSA). An appointed representative can request that the Agency pay the authorized fee directly out of a claimant’s past-due benefits if he/she is an attorney or a non-attorney who has met certain prerequisites. SSA will withhold 25 percent of the claimant’s past-due benefits if the appointed claimant representative properly notifies SSA that direct payment will be requested.
SSA is required to file an information return (Form 1099-MISC) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when it pays $600 or more to claimant representatives during the tax year (TY). While SSA pays fees directly to individual representatives, the associated income can be shared between the claimant representatives and affiliated firms.
In this report, we focus on income to show the portion of funds attributable to representatives’ employment with firms as well as the overall income received by those firms.