[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 46 (Thursday, March 8, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 13968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5673]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2011-0094]


Requiring Electronic Filing of Select Appeals by Certain Claimant 
Representatives

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Revised notification of implementation of requirement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are revising the Notification of implementation of 
requirement we published on January 31, 2012 (77 FR 4653). We are 
clarifying the requirement that appointed representatives file certain 
appeals using our electronic systems in matters for which the 
representatives request direct fee payment. Specifically, we are 
clarifying that the electronic filing requirement includes both the 
submission of the forms we require to file the appeal request and the 
Disability Report--Appeal. This is the first service required under the 
regulation we published on September 12, 2011 (76 FR 56107), Requiring 
Use of Electronic Services.

DATES: The effective date of this revised notification of 
implementation of requirement is March 16, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joann S. Anderson, Social Security 
Administration, Office of Income Security Programs, 6401 Security 
Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-6716.
    For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our 
national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or 
visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Requiring Electronic Filing of Appeals

    On September 12, 2011, we published final rules that require 
representatives to conduct business with us electronically at the times 
and in the manner we prescribe on matters for which the representative 
requests direct fee payment. At the time, we did not require 
representatives to use any specific electronic service. Rather, in the 
preamble to the final rule (76 FR 56107), we stated that, ``Once we 
determine that we should make a particular electronic service publicly 
available because it works well, we will publish a notice in the 
Federal Register. The notice will contain the new requirement(s) and a 
list of all established electronic service requirements.'' We also said 
in the preamble that we would adjust the burden for affected Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) approved collections before requiring 
representatives to use the collections' electronic versions. We 
published notices on December 1, 2011 (76 FR 74838) and January 31, 
2012 (77 FR 4857) concerning the burden adjustment for the affected 
electronic services under OMB No. 0960-0144, Disability Report-Appeal, 
OMB No. 0960-0269 (Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge), 
and OMB No. 0960-0622, Request for Reconsideration.
    On January 31, 2012, we published a notification of implementation 
of requirement in the Federal Register providing information about the 
first required electronic service under the final rules that we 
published in September 2011. We are now clarifying that requirement.
    As of March 16, 2012, we will begin mandating electronic filing of 
certain appeals in each matter in which a representative requests 
direct payment of the authorized fee. This electronic filing 
requirement includes the filing of a request for reconsideration or for 
a hearing by an administrative law judge for disability claims under 
title II of the Social Security Act (Act) or Supplemental Security 
Income claims based on disability or blindness under title XVI of the 
Act denied for medical reasons. To satisfy this electronic filing 
requirement, the representative must submit both the request for 
reconsideration or hearing and the electronic Disability Report--
Appeal, using our Internet Appeals web portal found at 
www.socialsecurity.gov. The Internet Appeals web process utilizes 
electronic versions of OMB's approved information collection 
instruments: the Request for Reconsideration (OMB No. 0960-0622), the 
Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge (OMB No. 0960-0269), 
and the Disability Report--Appeal (OMB No. 0960-0144).
    A representative has an affirmative duty to comply with this 
requirement. We may investigate to determine if a representative 
purposefully violated this duty or is attempting to circumvent our 
rules. We may sanction a representative who does not follow these 
rules. However, we will not reject or delay a claimant's request or 
process it differently if a representative fails to comply with this 
electronic filing requirement.
    Claimants, whether they are represented or not, and representatives 
who are not eligible for or who do not request direct fee payment on a 
matter, may continue to file all appeal requests either electronically, 
on paper, or in any manner we prescribe.

Additional Information

    Additional information is available on our Representing Claimants 
Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/representation/or it can be obtained by 
writing to: Social Security Administration, Office of Public Inquiries, 
Windsor Park Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social 
Security-Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security-Retirement 
Insurance; 96.004, Social Security-Survivors Insurance; and 96.006, 
Supplemental Security Income)

    Dated: March 5, 2012.
Michael J. Astrue,
Commissioner of Social Security.
[FR Doc. 2012-5673 Filed 3-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P