TN 3 (11-13)

DI 23001.005 Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures for Developing Capability

A. DDS procedures for responding to field office (FO) requests for capability assistance

If the FO is unable to make a capability determination and requests DDS assistance, the FO will notify the DDS by:

  • completing item 12 of the SSA-3367 (Disability Report – Field Office) capability remarks section in the Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS);

  • completing the SSA-3368-BK (Disability Report – Adult);

  • completing the SSA-3820 (Disability Report – Child)

NOTE: If the FO changes the DDS capability opinion, the FO will annotate the folder by completing item 34 of the SSA-831 or a SSA-553 (which is stored in section A of the electronic folder).

B. When to develop capability

Identify the need for capability development early in the development process to avoid delayed benefit payments. Do not complete medical development solely to resolve an issue of capability. Presume all legally competent adult beneficiaries are capable of managing or directing benefits to which he or she is entitled unless there are indicators or evidence to the contrary.

1. Capability development needed

Develop capability during the course of medical development in every case (i.e., initial, reconsideration, continuing disability review) when:

a. one of the following exists:

  • the FO indicates the claimant may be incapable and requests capability development;

  • the claimant has a mental or physical impairment resulting in severe disorientation, a severe cognitive impairment, a gross deficit in judgment or an inability to communicate with others;

  • the purchase of a psychiatric or psychological consultative examination;

  • someone other than claimant filed the disability claim; and

b. all of the following exist:

  • the DDS finds (or is likely to find) the claimant disabled or the FO finds (or is likely to find) the claimant disabled or the FO indicates the claimant filed a Retirement Survivor’s Insurance claim; and

  • there is no medical opinion of capability in the folder dated within the past year or since the last remission or exacerbation of the claimant’s condition, whichever is later.

2. Capability development not needed

Presume incapability when:

  • the claimant is declared legally incompetent;

  • the claimant meets mental disorder listing 12.05A; or

  • the claimant is in a coma for at least 30 days.

See also:


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0423001005
DI 23001.005 - Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures for Developing Capability - 05/19/2017
Batch run: 05/19/2017
Rev:05/19/2017