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Single Decision Maker Model -- Authority to Make Certain Disability Determinations Without a Medical Consultant Signature

August 13, 2013
SSA’s Single Decisionmaker (SDM) model authorizes disability examiners to make certain initial determinations without requiring a medical or psychological consultant’s signature.


In 1999, SSA started the SDM pilot in 10 disability determination services (DDS) sites—referred to as SDM prototype. Later in 1999, SSA expanded the pilot to an additional 10 DDS sites—referred to as SDM II. Therefore, 20 DDSs participated in the SDM pilot. The remaining 34 DDSs and Federal units did not have SDM authority. We completed this audit to gather information on the SDM pilot for the Agency to use when it decides whether to expand or terminate the pilot.


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