A letter from the Office of General Counsel can, eventually, put an end to your practice. If you are suspended for even three days, every client must be notified that they have to obtain new counsel and Social Security must be notified that you are no longer the representative on each claim. When the suspension ends you must apply for reinstatement and then obtain a new 1696 and retainer agreement from every client.
I represent attorneys and representatives from the time they get the first certified letter from the Office of General Counsel. Most complaints, when properly explained to OGC, can be resolved at the initial stage. When they are not, the process can be lengthy, anxiety provoking and potentially devastating.
A sanctions hearing may be expensive to defend and risky to your livelihood. READ THE SECTION ON REPRESENTATIVE REGULATIONS EVERY YEAR TO STAY FAMILIAR WITH YOUR RESPONSBILITIES.
The most common complaints I see are:
- i. Poor or abusive behavior at OHO or during a hearing.
- ii. Failure to adhere to the 5-day rule.
- ii. Failure to respond to the “good-cause” letter.
- iv. Failure to “communicate” regularly with your clients.
- v. Delaying the proceedings.
Call me if you want to discuss a letter you have received from OGC.