(a) A representative seeking a fee for services performed on behalf of a claimant shall make application therefor to the district director, administrative law judge, or appropriate appellate tribunal, as the case may be, before whom the services were performed. The application shall be filed and served upon the claimant and all other parties within the time limits allowed by the district director, administrative law judge, or appropriate appellate tribunal. The application shall be supported by a complete statement of the extent and character of the necessary work done, and shall indicate the professional status (e.g., attorney, paralegal, law clerk, lay representative or clerical) of the person performing such work, and the customary billing rate for each such person. The application shall also include a listing of reasonable unreimbursed expenses, including those for travel, incurred by the representative or an employee of a representative in establishing the claimant's case. Any fee requested under this paragraph shall also contain a description of any fee requested, charged, or received for services rendered to the claimant before any State or Federal court or agency in connection with a related matter.
(b) Any fee approved under paragraph (a) of this section shall be reasonably commensurate with the necessary work done and shall take into account the quality of the representation, the qualifications of the representative, the complexity of the legal issues involved, the level of proceedings to which the claim was raised, the level at which the representative entered the proceedings, and any other information which may be relevant to the amount of fee requested. No fee approved shall include payment for time spent in preparation of a fee application. No fee shall be approved for work done on claims filed between December 30, 1969, and June 30, 1973, under part B of title IV of the Act, except for services rendered on behalf of the claimant in regard to the review of the claim under section 435 of the Act and part 727 of this subchapter (see § 725.4(d)).
(c) In awarding a fee, the appropriate adjudication officer shall consider, and shall add to the fee, the amount of reasonable and unreimbursed expenses incurred in establishing the claimant's case. Reimbursement for travel expenses incurred by an attorney shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of § 725.459(a). No reimbursement shall be permitted for expenses incurred in obtaining medical or other evidence which has previously been submitted to the Office in connection with the claim.
(d) Upon receipt of a request for approval of a fee, such request shall be reviewed and evaluated by the appropriate adjudication officer and a fee award issued. Any party may request reconsideration of a fee awarded by the adjudication officer. A revised or modified fee award may then be issued, if appropriate.
(e) Each request for reconsideration or review of a fee award shall be in writing and shall contain supporting statements or information pertinent to any increase or decrease requested. If a fee awarded by a district director is disputed, such award shall be appealable directly to the Benefits Review Board. In such a fee dispute case, the record before the Board shall consist of the order of the district director awarding or denying the fee, the application for a fee, any written statement in opposition to the fee and the documentary evidence contained in the file which verifies or refutes any item claimed in the fee application.
Title 20 published on 2012-04-01
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