Regulations 20 CFR 404.1603 and 416.1003; 404.1613 and 416.1013; 404.1615 and 415.1015; 404.1620 and 416.1020; 404.1626 and 416.1026; 404.1621 and 416.1021
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
The State is responsible for establishing positions, recruitment, selection and tenure, compensation and staff development policies.
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:
Make certain that sufficient workforce is availablefor all clerical operations;
Study clerical productivityto determine workpower needs; and
In contracts for clerical functions, requirethat an outside vendor provide expeditious deliveryof completed work.
D. Operating policy - medical consultants
1. Determining medical staff time
There must be sufficient full-time or part-time medical staff for compliance with all required medical review policies and procedures.
Cases must not be delayedin any stage in processing because medical staff is unavailable.
2. Composition of medical staff
There must be at least minimum specialty hoursto cover the basic specialty categories.
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
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.
Evaluate and consider the effect of new labor intensive procedures to assure efficient implementation.
2. Quality of determinations
the qualityof determinations needs improvement, and/or
the amount of time allocated to training needs to be increased to improve quality.
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:
cost effectiveness measurement system;
experienceon regional, national, and State levels on optimal staffing ratios; and
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.