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Appointed Representative Services (ARS)

Appointed Representatives assisting with ALJ hearings and Appeals Council level cases can obtain online access to applicants’ electronic folders by enrolling in Appointed Representative Services (ARS). There are also benefits to enrolling in ARS, even if you only assist with initial claims.

Appointed Representative Services (ARS)

Appointed Representative Services (ARS) is "an application that allows appointed representatives to view electronic folder (eFolder) documents in real-time, to download eFolder contents including multimedia files, and upload medical evidence and other documents directly into a claimant’s eFolder. Representatives may also download status reports with key information regarding their pending and recently closed cases.”

Who can enroll?

Representatives who are eligible for direct payment are mandated to enroll in ARS. However, non-attorneys who are ineligible for direct payment of fees can also enroll if they wish. Both SSA and the SOAR TA Center strongly encourage everyone who is representing applicants at the hearing or Appeals Council levels to enroll. We also recommend that SOAR providers enroll in ARS, even if they don't assist with appeals.

Why should SOAR providers enroll if they only represent claims at the initial level?

The vast majority of SOAR providers are ineligible to accept direct payment from SSA and are, therefore, not mandated to enroll in ARS. However, there are benefits to enrolling, even if you only assist with initial SSI/SSDI applications. 

  • Once you are registered with ARS and have an Appointed Representative Rep ID, SSA can more easily associate you with each new claimant you represent. 
  • When you include your Rep ID on the SSA-1696, SSA will have a streamlined process to add you to the claim in their electronic system. This will help ensure that you get copies of communications sent to the applicant and that DDS can see that you are the appointed representative on the claim. 
  • Please note that you will not have access to the eFolder until you represent an applicant at the ALJ Hearing or Appeals Council level. 

ARS Success in Virginia

All SOAR-trained providers in Virginia enroll in ARS and obtain an Appointed Representative ID, easily allowing newly submitted claims to be associated with the SOAR-trained case worker. Both SOAR providers and SSA in Virginia have reported that this process has helped to resolve issues around lost or unassociated SSA-1696 forms.

How to Enroll? 

The full enrollment process can be found on SSA's Appointed Representative Services (ARS) page. You will need to follow these steps, in order

  1. Contact your local hearing office by phone and “request an invitation” to enroll. Be sure to contact the office nearest you because an in-person visit will be required. Please note: Field offices do not enroll representatives. It must be a hearing office.   
  2. Receive in the mail an invitation notice (view a sample invitation (PDF)) and a specially marked Form SSA-1699, Registration for Appointed Representative Services and Direct Payment (PDF). The SSA-1699 will be new to most SOAR providers - see the tips below for completing the form.
  3. Complete and sign the SSA-1699, then fax it to 1-877-268-3827 for processing.
    • Once the SSA-1699 is processed, you will be mailed a User ID and Rep ID.
  4. Contact your local hearing office to arrange a date, time, and location to complete the in-person enrollment. The in-person visit is an OMB requirement for authenticating your personal documents listed below. 
  5. Attend the scheduled in-person enrollment event and bring the following:
    • Your invitation notice
    • A valid government-issued photo ID
    • A text-enabled cell phone

Tips for Completing the SSA-1699

Form SSA-1699 (PDF) is used for both requesting direct fee payment and requesting access to an applicant's eFolder. As SOAR providers, we are only interested in obtaining eFolder access. 

This annotated SSA-1699 demonstrates how to complete the form for eFolder access only (i.e., no direct pay). One suggestion from SSA is to write “Not requesting Direct Pay. eFolder Access only." This will stop SSA from returning the form as “incomplete.”  Note: Do not submit the annotated form.