About the Disability Determination Division
The Disability Determination Division (DDD) of the Department on Disability Services is the DC Government agency charged by the Social Security Administration with making medical decisions on Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income Disability (SSI) claims filed by residents of the District of Columbia.
DDD is located as 1227 25th Street, NW, 4th Floor. The main telephone number is 202-442-8500, and the FAX number is 202-442-8501.
Each State, as well as the District, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands, has a Disability Determination office that evaluates Disability claims filed with the Social Security office for their residents. These offices make the medical determination regarding disability eligibility. A team composed of a disability examiner, a physician and a psychologist review the evidence, apply Social Security’s rules and come to a conclusion. Once that determination is made, the claim is returned to the Social Security office which considers other eligibility factors and releases a letter with the final decision.
If the medical determination is unfavorable, an appeal can be filed with Social Security. The claim returns to DDD and a different team made up of a disability examiner, physician and psychologist who did not evaluate the claim originally will review the evidence, including any new evidence, and make another decision. This may or may not be different from the original decision.
The Disability Determination Division also processes claims for Medicare benefits filed by Federal employees who are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System.
The Disability Programs Under Social Security.
There are two Disability programs run by the Social Security Administration, and DDD makes the medical determination for both of them.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program - To qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must meet a test of substantial recent covered work. Disability benefits provide a continuing income base for eligible workers who have qualifying disabilities and for eligible members of their families. Three of four working Americans age 21 through 64 can count on receiving benefits if they become disabled. Workers are considered disabled if they have severe physical or mental conditions that prevent them from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The condition must be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or to result in death. Once benefits begin, they continue for as long as the worker is disabled and does not perform substantial gainful work, although there are provisions that provide incentives for work. Disability cases are reviewed periodically to determine if the worker continues to be disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program - SSI is a means-tested program designed to provide or supplement the income of aged, blind or disabled individuals with limited income and resources. SSI payments and related administrative expenses are financed from general tax revenues, not the Social Security trust funds. Qualified recipients receive monthly cash payments from SSA sufficient to raise their income to the level guaranteed by the Federal SSI Program. Children, as well as adults, can receive payments because of disability or blindness. The definitions of disability and blindness used in the SSI program, as well as continuing disability review procedures, are the same as those used in the SSDI program. There are provisions to provide incentives for work including special incentives to those beneficiaries who have disabilities or are blind. The Federal benefit rate and eligibility requirements are uniform nationwide.
You can click Disability FAQ to view a discussion of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Disability Benefits.
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