Disability Determination Services Processing Times

Friday, May 8, 2015
Report Number: 
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

We are issuing this report to convey information related to State disability determination services (DDS) with Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 average processing times for initial disability claims that were outside the typical range of DDS processing times.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Disability Insurance (DI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments to eligible individuals under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. DDSs in the State or other office with jurisdiction make disability determinations. There are DDSs in each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Disability examiners, working with medical consultants, review medical evidence and the circumstances of disability claims to determine whether claimants meet SSA’s definition of disability.

DDSs must follow State (meaning the 50 States, District of Columbia, or territories) personnel policies and procedures including State approval on hiring new staff. Each State has its own hiring practices. Federal regulations allow States to provide the organizational structure and qualified personnel needed to make disability determinations. Furthermore, States are required to adhere to applicable State-approved personnel standards in hiring staff.