Authorization of Representative Fees
We propose to revise our rules regarding payment of representative fees to allow representatives to charge and receive a fee from third parties without requiring our authorization in certain instances. We also propose to eliminate the requirement that we authorize fees for legal guardians or court-appointed representatives who provide representational services in claims before us if a court has already authorized their fees. We are proposing these revisions to reflect changes in representatives' business practices, and in the ways in which claimants obtain representation, and to make more efficient the way we process representative fees.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hearing Loss
We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (the listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving hearing loss. We apply these criteria when you claim benefits based on disability under title II and title XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act). The proposed revisions reflect current medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating hearing loss, as well as our adjudicative experience since the publication of the current rules.