(a) Except for the Secretary of Labor, whose interests shall be represented by the Solicitor of Labor or his or her designee, each of the parties may appoint an individual to represent his or her interest in any proceeding for determination of a claim under this part. Such appointment shall be made in writing or on the record at the hearing. An attorney qualified in accordance with § 725.363(a) shall file a written declaration that he or she is authorized to represent a party, or declare his or her representation on the record at a formal hearing. Any other person (see § 725.363(b)) shall file a written notice of appointment signed by the party or his or her legal guardian, or enter his or her appearance on the record at a formal hearing if the party he or she seeks to represent is present and consents to the representation. Any written declaration or notice required by this section shall include the OWCP number assigned by the Office and shall be sent to the Office or, for representation at a formal hearing, to the Chief Administrative Law Judge. In any case, such representative must be qualified under § 725.363. No authorization for representation or agreement between a claimant and representative as to the amount of a fee, filed with the Social Security Administration in connection with a claim under part B of title IV of the Act, shall be valid under this part. A claimant who has previously authorized a person to represent him or her in connection with a claim originally filed under part B of title IV may renew such authorization by filing a statement to such effect with the Office or appropriate adjudication officer.
(b) Any party may waive his or her right to be represented in the adjudication of a claim. If an adjudication officer determines, after an appropriate inquiry has been made, that a claimant who has been informed of his or her right to representation does not wish to obtain the services of a representative, such adjudication officer shall proceed to consider the claim in accordance with this part, unless it is apparent that the claimant is, for any reason, unable to continue without the help of a representative. However, it shall not be necessary for an adjudication officer to inquire as to the ability of a claimant to proceed without representation in any adjudication taking place without a hearing. The failure of a claimant to obtain representation in an adjudication taking place without a hearing shall be considered a waiver of the claimant's right to representation. However, at any time during the processing or adjudication of a claim, any claimant may revoke such waiver and obtain a representative.
Title 20 published on 2014-04-01
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