The Social Security Administration (SSA) has revised the most often-used form by advocates, Appointment of Representative Form SSA-1696 (09-2019), which is available online at www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-1696.pdf (be sure to clear your “cached” data if you are not seeing the latest version).
The most significant change relates to fees and involves the incorporation of payment information from the now-obsolete SSA-1695 form. Secondly, for representatives who are registered on Appointed Representative Services (ARS), the revised form allows for the use of the RepID number. Finally, the revised version includes two new supplementary, optional forms that can be used for a claimant’s revocation of a representative’s appointment Form SSA-1696-SUP1 and representative’s withdrawal from representation Form SSA-1696-SUP2.
As explained in EM-20004, New Instructions for the Processing of the Revised Form SSA-1696, issued on February 7, 2020, the revised SSA-1696 no longer asks for the representative’s SSN and instead requests the representative’s 10-digit Rep ID, which all representatives receive after enrolling in ARS. (Note this is different from your 8-digit user ID you use to log in to ARS.) SSA’s policy in the POMS always required each representative to be appointed individually (see POMS GN 03910.040D). The EM notes that “with the incorporation of the Rep ID into the SSA-1696, [SSA] can no longer accept multiple names on a single notice of appointment.”
The EM clarifies that the SSA-1696 is not mandatory. However, to establish an appointment without it, representatives and claimants “must submit a signed written notice.”
Please note that the claimant’s wet signature is still required on the SSA-1696 (electronic signatures are not permitted), but there are certain updates or submissions that do not require the claimant’s signature at all. Whenever the claimant’s signature is required, however, only traditional pen-and-ink signatures will be accepted. (There is currently some exception to this, related to the COVID-19 crisis. See page 1 of this newsletter.)
The form is fillable when downloaded and opened as a PDF.