What is DDS?
Disability Determination Service (DDS) is the state agency responsible for determining Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims at the initial level. All applications for SSDI and SSI will first go to DDS for initial review. Claims can be approved or denied by DDS. If a claim is denied at the initial level, an applicant can file to have the initial decision reviewed. This process is known as Reconsideration. In addition to initial level decisions, DDS is also responsible for Reconsiderations.
Is DDS still open during the COVID 19 Pandemic?
Due to the protocols put in place in response to COVID 19, DDS was initially forced to close for about three weeks. Fortunately, DDS has recently been able to adapt to the new protocols and has found a way to allow employees to work remotely. This was not an easy task, since it involved hundreds of employees in multiple locations requiring phones, laptops and the connections to make them all work. Due to the ability of DDS employees to work remotely, DDS has now reopened.
What does this mean for new or existing SSDI/SSI claims?
The restart of DDS operations allows for initial claims to be processed and reviewed once again. By resuming the activity of the DDS field offices, claims evaluators will be able to move initial SSDI and SSI claims forward without further delay. Applicants should receive initial level decisions within the usual time frame of 4-6 months. Likewise, applicants are able to file for reconsiderations of denied claims, and they should receive responses without a significant delay. Now that DDS employees are back to work, we look forward to working with them to move these cases forward for disability applicants.