Who is the DDS and what do they do?
DDS stands for Disability Determination Services.
The DDS is a state agency funded by the United States Federal Government. Their purpose is to make decisions on disability eligibility for the Social Security Administration (SSA).
When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your application is submitted to a local Social Security Office.
The Social Security Administration will make sure you meet some of the basic qualifications for SSDI or SSI and then send your case to the State DDS office to have your claim for disability assessed. DDS will either approve or deny your disability claim and then return the results back to the Social Security Administration for final processing.
When the DDS receives a disability case, it is assigned to an examiner who will be responsible for deciding if the applicant meets the Social Security’s definition of disabled. The examiner will read over your application for SSDI or SSI and will request your medical records from the sources you stated in your application. If the examiner feels that your medical records are not recent, or if your medical records do not address all the symptoms you listed on your application, then DDS might send you to one or more physicians for a medical evaluation. The DDS will pay for these medical visits.
The job of the DDS examiner is not just to decide if you are disabled, but to decide if your disability would prevent you from doing any kind of work that would allow you to earn an acceptable income.