Electronic Signature: Making Form SSA-1696 Legally Binding

How to Make an Electronic Signature of Form SSA-1696 Legally Binding

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In the SOAR process, claimants use Form SSA-1696 or its submittable electronic version, e1696, to appoint their representative and provide information about that person. Representatives also use the form to indicate whether they will charge a fee and to prove their eligibility for direct fee payment.

Appointment of Representative

When a person wants to appoint someone to represent them in dealing with the Social Security Administration, they need to fill out an SSA Form 1696 or its submittable electronic version, e1696. The appointing party needs to provide their own personal information as well as the information about the representative they are appointing.

The appointing party also needs to indicate whether the representative will charge for services or not. The representative needs to answer questions about their fitness to handle a claim before the agency, such as if they have been disbarred or suspended from a bar; are ineligible for representation because of an ongoing criminal investigation; or have been found by another federal agency to be unfit to serve as a representative.

Finally, the appointing party and the representative need to both sign and date the form. The signatures should be written in ink, not by electronic means. When utilizing the SOAR Process, the SSA-1696 is submitted to SSA as part of the complete application packet.


As the world takes a step away from paper, execution of documents increasingly happens electronically. The SSA-1696 form is no exception. However, just using a computer application to sign your name on an electronic version of this form does not mean that the signature is valid under law. Rather, in order to be considered legally binding by an organization requesting the sample or a court, your eSignature must comply with certain requirements.

This EM informs technicians of new online service options that allow claimants and representatives to complete, sign, and submit the SSA-1696, Claimant’s Appointment of Representative form. Also, it describes how to access and use the SSA-1693, Fee Agreement for Representation Before SSA form.

We will pay your representative the amount of any fee allowed by a Federal court in a fee petition you file with us, subject to the limitations described in this section. In addition, we will pay your representative the fees authorized for payment under title XVI of the Act in proceedings conducted by an administrative law judge or a Social Security Administration appeals council.

Representation Agreement

The electronic 1696 includes an agreement between the claimant and representative about how fees will be charged for services. Representatives are not allowed to charge more than the amount that the SSA has approved for their fee. Representatives must file either a fee petition or a signed fee agreement with the SSA to obtain approval for their service fee.

Using an eDocument signing tool like airSlate SignNow helps make sure that the signature on the form will be considered valid by any organization requesting it or a court in the future. The tool provides the signer with a certificate of authenticity and keeps compliance with ESIGN, UETA, and eIDAS – major legal frameworks that support online signatures. In addition, the tool enables users to edit the document and insert additional information, making it more readable. It also offers a free account to check out the tool’s features and capabilities. This demonstrates the commitment to customer satisfaction of the company and allows the user to try out the software before paying for a subscription.


As the world moves away from paper-based documents to online ones, it is essential that all forms submitted are legally binding. This is particularly true of the ssa 1696 form, which can be made valid only by following specific stipulations related to signatures.

A reliable tool like airSlate SignNow makes eSignatures fully legal, offering a host of security features to ensure that the template you submit is treated as completed by the institution in question. Some of these features include an audit trail, identity authentication, and 256-bit SSL encryption that keeps the data safely stored on servers.

The SSA-1696 is an important document that must be submitted with the application for SSI or SSDI benefits. Be sure to carefully review the requirements and submit it in a timely manner to avoid delays. Using a specialized eSignature platform to complete your SSA-1696 will make the process much easier.

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