DI 39518.005 Staffing Requirement -- DDS

A. Policy principle

1. Qualified personnel

The State will provide sufficient qualified personneland medical consultant services to insure disability determinations are made accurately and promptly.

2. Selection, tenure, and compensation

The State will, except as may be inconsistent with 20 CFR 404.1621(a) and 416.1021(a), adhereto applicable State approved personnel standardsin the selection, tenure, and compensationof any individual employed in the disability program.

B. Related procedure

See DI 39518.015 for related procedures on restrictions.

C. Operating policy - professional and clerical staff

1. General

  1. a. 

    The State is responsible for establishing positions, recruitment, selection and tenure, compensation and staff development policies.

  2. b. 

    The disability staff will consist of the necessarymedical, professional, technical, stenographic and clerical personnel, including a full-time disability supervisor and intermediate supervisor, where necessary.

2. Annual workyear plan

The disability determination service (DDS)must submit an annual workyear plan to the regional office (RO)and receive SSA approval.

NOTE:If a State is budgeted below the national production per workyear target, central office (CO)concurrence will be required on RO approved hiring exceptions.

3. Clerical operations

The DDS must:

  1. a. 

    Make certain that sufficient workforce is availablefor all clerical operations;

  2. b. 

    Study clerical productivityto determine workpower needs; and

  3. c. 

    In contracts for clerical functions, requirethat an outside vendor provide expeditious deliveryof completed work.

D. Operating policy - medical consultants

1. Determining medical staff time

  1. a. 

    There must be sufficient full-time or part-time medical staff for compliance with all required medical review policies and procedures.

  2. b. 

    Cases must not be delayedin any stage in processing because medical staff is unavailable.

2. Composition of medical staff

  1. a. 

    There must be at least minimum specialty hoursto cover the basic specialty categories.

  2. b. 

    Special efforts should be made to secure psychiatrists and psychologistsas DDS medical consultants.

NOTE:For provisions for assuring that mental impairment cases are evaluated by qualified professionals see DI 39518.065.

E. Operating procedure

1. Productive capacity

  1. a. 

    Consider expected improvements in productiondue to increased efficiency as a result of management studies, technical training, experience level of staff, and electronic data processing (EDP)equipment.

  2. b. 

    Evaluate and consider the effect of new labor intensive procedures to assure efficient implementation.

2. Quality of determinations

  1. a. 


    • the qualityof determinations needs improvement, and/or

    • the amount of time allocated to training needs to be increased to improve quality.

  2. b. 

    Consider the degree of supervision and case reviewrequired based on the experience level of the staff and quality assurance feedback.

3. Effect of development rates on staffing

Consider all data sources, including, but not limited to, the:

  1. a. 


  2. b. 

    cost effectiveness measurement system;

  3. c. 

    experienceon regional, national, and State levels on optimal staffing ratios; and

  4. d. 

    State Agency Work Samplereport when making decisions on staffing requirements.

4. Agency experience in elapsed processing time

Evaluate the DDS operations to see if improvementcan be made to comply with SSA standardsand whether failure to meet such standards may be due to staffing.

5. Annual workyear plan

  1. a. 

    Submit an annual workyear planwith the first quarter spending plan or within 30 days of receipt of the annual workyear limitation. The plan should include:

    • an outline of how the DDS will achieve its workyear ceiling by the end of the fiscal year, and

    • the staffing mix that the DDS will achieve.

  2. b. 

    Obtain RO approvalof the staffing plan.

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DI 39518.005 - Staffing Requirement -- DDS - 08/05/1996
Batch run: 11/30/2016