TN 3 (05-22)

DI 25003.005 Designating Vocational Specialists


Social Security Act, as amended §§ 216(i), 223(d)(2)(A), and 1614(a)(3)(B)
20 CFR Part 404 Subpart P, Appendix 2
20 CFR §§ 404.1566 thru 404.1569, and 416.966 thru 416.969
SSR 00-04p

A. Disability Determination Services (DDS) authority and responsibility

The DDS administrator shall select an adequate number of vocational specialists (VS) to meet the State’s needs. The DDS administrator has the authority and flexibility to design a quality assurance function best suited to the needs of the agency and assigns roles accordingly.

See also:

  • DI 25003.001 Vocational Specialists

  • DI 30001.010 Disability Determination Services (DDS) Quality Assurance (QA) Authority and Responsibilities

B. DDS VS qualifications

Each office shall maintain appropriate records of VS training certification(s).

The DDS administrator selects experienced personnel to complete and maintain the VS training. Minimum qualifications for a VS are:

  • Knowledge of the Social Security disability programs, particularly vocational issues at steps 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process; and

  • Completion of the SSA sponsored VS training within the last 5 years.

NOTE: DDS administrators determine if any additional experience is necessary.

C. SSA VS training modules

VS training consists of a series of video-on-demand (VOD) training modules. Personnel may complete the modules in a classroom setting or individually. The DDS administrator and training staff determine which method is appropriate. The complete VOD training runs approximately 6 hours. VS training modules and the required certification are on the Vocational Specialist Requirements document located at the A-Z Disability Training Index.

D. Other vocational training materials

Additional vocational training materials are located at the A-Z Disability Training Index.

E. VS Training certification

The DDS will confirm successful completion of the VS training to achieve certification that is valid for 5 years. After 5 years, the VS must complete the training to maintain certification as a VS.

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DI 25003.005 - Designating Vocational Specialists - 05/10/2022
Batch run: 05/10/2022