20 CFR 404.1740 - Rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.

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§ 404.1740 Rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.
(a) Purpose and scope.
(1) All attorneys or other persons acting on behalf of a party seeking a statutory right or benefit must, in their dealings with us, faithfully execute their duties as agents and fiduciaries of a party. A representative must provide competent assistance to the claimant and recognize our authority to lawfully administer the process. The following provisions set forth certain affirmative duties and prohibited actions that will govern the relationship between the representative and us, including matters involving our administrative procedures and fee collections.
(2) All representatives must be forthright in their dealings with us and with the claimant and must comport themselves with due regard for the nonadversarial nature of the proceedings by complying with our rules and standards, which are intended to ensure orderly and fair presentation of evidence and argument.
(b) Affirmative duties. A representative must, in conformity with the regulations setting forth our existing duties and responsibilities and those of claimants (see § 404.1512 in disability and blindness claims):
(1) Act with reasonable promptness to obtain the information and evidence that the claimant wants to submit in support of his or her claim, and forward the same to us for consideration as soon as practicable. In disability and blindness claims, this includes the obligations to assist the claimant in bringing to our attention everything that shows that the claimant is disabled or blind, and to assist the claimant in furnishing medical evidence that the claimant intends to personally provide and other evidence that we can use to reach conclusions about the claimant's medical impairment(s) and, if material to the determination of whether the claimant is blind or disabled, its effect upon the claimant's ability to work on a sustained basis, pursuant to § 404.1512(a);
(2) Assist the claimant in complying, as soon as practicable, with our requests for information or evidence at any stage of the administrative decisionmaking process in his or her claim. In disability and blindness claims, this includes the obligation pursuant to § 404.1512(c) to assist the claimant in providing, upon our request, evidence about:
(i) The claimant's age;
(ii) The claimant's education and training;
(iii) The claimant's work experience;
(iv) The claimant's daily activities both before and after the date the claimant alleges that he or she became disabled;
(v) The claimant's efforts to work; and
(vi) Any other factors showing how the claimant's impairment(s) affects his or her ability to work. In §§ 404.1560 through 404.1569, we discuss in more detail the evidence we need when we consider vocational factors;
(3) Conduct his or her dealings in a manner that furthers the efficient, fair and orderly conduct of the administrative decisionmaking process, including duties to:
(i) Provide competent representation to a claimant. Competent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. This includes knowing the significant issue(s) in a claim and having a working knowledge of the applicable provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended, the regulations and the Rulings; and
(ii) Act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a claimant. This includes providing prompt and responsive answers to our requests for information pertinent to processing of the claim; and
(4) Conduct business with us electronically at the times and in the manner we prescribe on matters for which the representative requests direct fee payment. (See§ 404.1713).
(c) Prohibited actions. A representative must not:
(1) In any manner or by any means threaten, coerce, intimidate, deceive or knowingly mislead a claimant, or prospective claimant or beneficiary, regarding benefits or other rights under the Act;
(2) Knowingly charge, collect or retain, or make any arrangement to charge, collect or retain, from any source, directly or indirectly, any fee for representational services in violation of applicable law or regulation;
(3) Knowingly make or present, or participate in the making or presentation of, false or misleading oral or written statements, assertions or representations about a material fact or law concerning a matter within our jurisdiction;
(4) Through his or her own actions or omissions, unreasonably delay or cause to be delayed, without good cause (see § 404.911(b)), the processing of a claim at any stage of the administrative decisionmaking process;
(5) Divulge, without the claimant's consent, except as may be authorized by regulations prescribed by us or as otherwise provided by Federal law, any information we furnish or disclose about a claim or prospective claim;
(6) Attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, the outcome of a decision, determination, or other administrative action by offering or granting a loan, gift, entertainment, or anything of value to a presiding official, agency employee, or witness who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the administrative decisionmaking process, except as reimbursement for legitimately incurred expenses or lawful compensation for the services of an expert witness retained on a non-contingency basis to provide evidence;
(7) Engage in actions or behavior prejudicial to the fair and orderly conduct of administrative proceedings, including but not limited to:
(i) Repeated absences from or persistent tardiness at scheduled proceedings without good cause (see § 404.911(b));
(ii) Willful behavior which has the effect of improperly disrupting proceedings or obstructing the adjudicative process; and
(iii) Threatening or intimidating language, gestures, or actions directed at a presiding official, witness, or agency employee that result in a disruption of the orderly presentation and reception of evidence;
(8) Violate any section of the Act for which a criminal or civil monetary penalty is prescribed;
(9) Refuse to comply with any of our rules or regulations;
(10) Suggest, assist, or direct another person to violate our rules or regulations;
(11) Advise any claimant or beneficiary not to comply with any of our rules or regulations;
(12) Knowingly assist a person whom we suspended or disqualified to provide representational services in a proceeding under title II of the Act, or to exercise the authority of a representative described in § 404.1710; or
(13) Fail to comply with our sanction(s) decision.
[63 FR 41416, Aug. 4, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 56109, Sept. 12, 2011; 76 FR 80245, Dec. 23, 2011]

Title 20 published on 2012-04-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 20.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-03-03; vol. 79 # 41 - Monday, March 3, 2014
    1. 79 FR 11706 - Medicare Determinations and Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to Medicare Part B Premiums; Conforming Changes to Regulations
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      Final rule.
      The interim final rule with request for comments published on September 18, 2013, at 78 FR 57257, is confirmed as final, effective March 3, 2014.
      20 CFR Parts 404 and 418

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 31 - MONEY AND FINANCE

§ 401 - Trust Funds

§ 402 - Old-age and survivors insurance benefit payments

§ 403 - Reduction of insurance benefits

§ 404 - Overpayments and underpayments

§ 405 - Evidence, procedure, and certification for payments

§ 405 note - Evidence, procedure, and certification for payments

§ 406 - Representation of claimants before Commissioner

§ 409 - “Wages” defined

§ 410 - Definitions relating to employment

§ 410a - Transferred

§ 411 - Definitions relating to self-employment

§ 412 - Self-employment income credited to calendar years

§ 413 - Quarter and quarter of coverage

§ 414 - Insured status for purposes of old-age and survivors insurance benefits

§ 415 - Computation of primary insurance amount

§ 416 - Additional definitions

§ 417 - Benefits for veterans

§ 418 - Voluntary agreements for coverage of State and local employees

§ 418 note - Voluntary agreements for coverage of State and local employees

§ 421 - Disability determinations

§ 421 note - Disability determinations

§ 422 - Rehabilitation services

§ 423 - Disability insurance benefit payments

§ 424a - Reduction of disability benefits

§ 425 - Additional rules relating to benefits based on disability

§ 428 - Benefits at age 72 for certain uninsured individuals

§ 429 - Benefits in case of members of uniformed services

§ 430 - Adjustment of contribution and benefit base

§ 431 - Benefits for certain individuals interned by United States during World War II

§ 433 - International agreements

§ 902 - Commissioner; Deputy Commissioner; other officers

§ 902 note - Commissioner; Deputy Commissioner; other officers

§ 909 - Delivery of benefit checks

42 U.S. Code § 905, 905a - Transferred

42 U.S. Code § 1320a–8a - Administrative procedure for imposing penalties for false or misleading statements

42 U.S. Code § 905, 905a - Transferred

42 U.S. Code § 905, 905a - Transferred

Statutes at Large

Title 20 published on 2012-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 20 CFR 404 after this date.

  • 2014-05-01; vol. 79 # 84 - Thursday, May 1, 2014
    1. 79 FR 24634 - Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders; Reopening of the Comment Period
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      Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.
      The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking published on February 25, 2014 (79 FR 10636), is reopened. To ensure that your written comments are considered, we must receive them no later than June 2, 2014.
      20 CFR Part 404