The Supplemental Security Income program is administered under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The basic purpose of Title XVI is to provide a minimum level of support to qualified individuals who are blind, disabled, or aged and who have limited income and resources. To assist with obtaining Title XVI payments, claimants may appoint a qualified representative (attorney or non-attorney) to act on their behalf in matters before SSA. Claimants may agree to compensate their appointed representative for services provided to resolve their claim.
Generally, SSA calculates claimant representative fees based on claimants’ past-due benefits. Past-due benefits typically accrue from the claimant’s benefit entitlement date through the month in which SSA approves the claim.
Our report determines whether SSA (1) withheld the claimant representative fee from claimants’ past-due benefits and (2) paid the correct claimant representative fee when Title XVI claimants elected third-party representation.