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Another Word to the Wise...

December 22, 2014

What happens when you forget the little things like letting the Social Security Administration know of your appointment to the case or having the client sign a request?  The case of Koegel v. Colvin, 2014 WL 5323951 (N.D.N.Y. October 17, 2014), is another cautionary tale of what happens when procedure is not followed, and the little things are left out.

In Koegel v. Colvin, the attorney did not complete an Appointment of Representation Form (1696) when he took over the case at the Appeals Council.  Because the client did not sign the request for review, the Appeals Council would not accept the request since there was no record that the new attorney was the Plaintiff’s representative, i.e. no 1696.  The Appeals Council sent a letter to the attorney and the client instructing the attorney to complete Appointment of Representation form SSA-1696.  The Appeals Council gave the attorney thirty days to respond; when he did not, the request for review was dismissed.  The attorney filed a complaint to the court, but the court held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the attorney had not exhausted administrative remedies.

Uh-oh. Now what?  Be sure to cross and dot those letters.  Your client’s case, and your reputation, may depend on it.


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