CPS HR Consulting
Social Security Administration

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The Social Security Act (The Act) requires you to take an examination as one of the conditions of being eligible for direct payment of your fee. To be accepted to the examination, you must first complete an application, sign the authorization for release of information form, and pay the application fee. Your submitted application and authorization must be postmarked by the last day of the application period. An application package is complete only if it includes:

  1. A completed and signed application
  2. A completed and signed applicant authorization for release of information form; and
  3. The application fee payment of $1,000.

The application period will run from February 1st to February 28th each calendar year. If the 28th falls on the Sunday, the application period will be extended to the following Monday. However, these dates may change. The application will be available for download during this time. Please check back for updates to exam timelines and due dates.

You must indicate on the application that you meet the educational or equivalent professional qualification requirement  as listed in 20 CFR 404.1717 or 416.1517 and pass a criminal background check before you can take the examination.

REVIEW your application for completeness. Remember to sign both the application and the authorization form.

When you submit an incomplete application, you will be required to resubmit another complete application within 10 calendar days. This may delay your background check and your acceptance to the examination.

If you fail to submit your application or fail to pay the fee by the end of the application period, we will not accept your application. We will only accept applications received or postmarked on or before February 28 (see above) and return applications that are postmarked after this date without considering them. You should contact your local post office if you have questions about postmarks. You may re-apply during a subsequent application period.

NOTE:We require documentation that you meet the educational or equivalent professional qualifications and liability insurance requirements after you take and pass the examination.

Application Fee

The Act allows us to assess a reasonable fee to cover the cost of administering the written examination and conducting background checks. The application fee is $1000.00. The application fee is due no later than the last day of the application period. This fee should accompany your application form and applicant authorization for release of information. The application fee is non-refundable except in the following circumstances:

  1. We fail to administer a scheduled examination and you are unable to take the rescheduled examination, or
  2. We agree that you have circumstances beyond your control that you could not have reasonably anticipated and planned for which prevented you from taking a scheduled examination, such as a death in your immediate family or a documented illness of an immediate family member or yourself.

We will not refund your application fee for the following reasons:

  1. You took and failed the examination, or
  2. You fail to arrive on time.

Acceptable of fee payment are:

  1. Personal check,
  2. Money order, or
  3. Firm check

You can pay your fee to CPS HR Consulting. If your check is returned for non-sufficient funds, CPS HR requires that your resubmitted payment be in the form of a money order.

Application Completion Checklist

We recommend using the fillable PDF form SSA-1691. Carefully review your application for completeness prior to submission and retain a copy for your records.

You may use the following list as a guide to determine if your application form is complete.

Section A - Background Information Pages 4-5

  • You must provide your full name, any other names used, Social Security number, date of birth and citizenship status.
    • If you are a naturalized citizen, we may request proof of your citizenship for the background check.
  • Contact information must include a valid mailing address, phone number, and email address.
    • An email address is required for access to the online portal as well as for setting up the online exam.
  • You must provide a Yes or No response to Background Information questions 1-9.

Section B - Education/Equivalent Qualifications Pages 6-7

  • If you have indicated that you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. postsecondary institution you must include the name and location of the institution as well as the dates attended, and degree granted.
  • If you indicate that you have a secondary school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate and equivalent qualifications derived from training and work experience, you must provide the name and location of the institution as well as the date your diploma or GED was issued.
  • If you indicated that you have a secondary school diploma or GED, you must also provide details regarding your relevant professional experience including your title, name of employer, contact information, and a detailed description of your duties.

Section C - Examination Information Page 7

  • This year, we will offer the examination through a remotely proctored online portal. Do not complete the location section on the application form SSA-1691.
  • Accommodation Requests - if you require any special accommodation, you must request this via the application and provide supporting documentation as required.

Acknowledgements - Pages 9-11

  • Initials are required as acknowledgement of the following statements:
  • Privacy Act Statement
  • Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
  • Substantial Misrepresentation or Material Discrepancy Statement
  • Application Fee Statement
  • Statement of Understanding

A dated, handwritten signature is required in acknowledgement of the Penalty of Perjury Statement.

Applicant Authorization for Release of Information Page 11

The Applicant Authorization for Release of Information must be completed in its entirety.

Ensure that you have entered all your personal information and that this is consistent with the information provided on Page 4 of the application.

You must provide residency information for the past 5 years. Dates provided should be complete.

A dated, handwritten signature, and daytime phone number is required in acknowledgement of the Application Authorization for Release of Information form.