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Public Statements

Social Security Disability Applicants' Access To Professional Representation Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, the bill before us, the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010, will make permanent provisions first enacted in a demonstration program included in the Social Security Protection Act of 2004. The provisions allowed attorney fee withholding under Supplemental Security Income, SSI, and qualified non-attorney fee withholding under the Social Security and SSI programs. It also created standards for qualifying non-attorneys for participation in fee withholding.

This action has helped claimants as they work through the often complex and time-consuming disability process. Without action on this bill the provisions will expire on March 1, 2010.

The Social Security Administration, SSA, has received favorable feedback on the program from non-attorney representatives and has received no complaints from claimants. The Government Accountability Office studied the process and has raised no significant concerns.

In addition to support from disability advocates for making the provisions permanent, we received letters urging passage of the legislation from the National Association of Disability Representatives, NADR, and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities that Mr. Tanner entered into the Record earlier. At this time I would like to insert a letter of support into the Record from the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives.

Because attorneys and non-attorneys who participate in fee withholding are charged a fee by the SSA, preliminary estimates suggest the provisions would reduce the deficit over 10 years by approximately $55 million.

Join me in supporting the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010.


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