Citations:

Section 221 of the Social Security Act

Social Security Act;

Regulations 20 CFR 404.1622 and 20 CFR 416.1022

TN 16 (03-02)

DI 39521.100 Training and Staff Development - General

CITATIONS: Section 221 of the Social Security Act; Regulations 20 CFR 404.1622 and 20 CFR 416.1022

A. Introduction

This subchapter sets forth DDS guidelines on training and staff development.

B. Policy

1. State responsibilities

  • The DDS administrator has primary responsibility for managing the DDS training and staff development process.

  • The DDS administrator shall have maximum management flexibility to plan such a program and apply it in a manner that most efficiently and effectively meets the needs of the agency.

  • The State will ensure that all employees have an acceptable level of competence.

  • The DDS will request SSA provided training materials by informing the SSA regional office with the description and quantity of material required. (See also DI 39539.001 for instructions on requesting SSA material and supplies.)

2. SSA responsibilities

a. Administration

SSA will foster a program of training and staff-development designed to provide maximum proficiency in performing the varied duties of the organization. SSA will ensure uniformity and effectiveness in the administration of the disability program by providing training assistance to facilitate basic and advanced technical proficiency of disability staff.

b. Training

SSA will provide training and other instructional materials to facilitate basic and advanced technical proficiency of disability staff. If a DDS fails to meet minimum standards of performance, SSA will specify and/or provide training where appropriate to improve performance. Where SSA concludes the training materials are complex or that uniform training is needed for national program policy purposes, SSA will discuss the initiative with DDS representatives prior to implementation.

C. Definitions

1. Training

The process of providing a planned, prepared, and coordinated program, course or routine instructions in a field directly related to the employee's official duties to increase knowledge, proficiency, ability, skill and qualifications.

2. Program training

Training designed to provide knowledge and skill on topics directly related to the disability determination function.

3. Non-program training

Training designed to provide knowledge and skill in job functions that are not directly program related (e.g., machine operation, supervision, effective writing, time management, etc.)

4. Staff development

A planned set of experiences designed to broaden the career capabilities of individuals who have a potential for jobs of increased responsibility within the disability program.

D. Procedure

1. Necessary costs

Expenditures for training and staff development are considered necessary costs of making disability determinations.

2. Requesting funds

The DDS will request funds to cover training and staff development costs in the annual and quarterly spending plan submissions. (See PM 00203.000 for instructions on completing the DDS annual and quarterly spending plans.) Justification is required to account for the costs.

3. Training time and leave

The salaries of personnel on administrative leave for training or staff development are necessary costs per guidelines below:

  • Administrative leave for training may normally be granted up to 3 weeks per year for full-time or part-time personnel.

  • Administrative leave for staff development may be granted up to 12 months for full-time personnel.

  • Unless in conflict with State practice, personnel granted administrative leave for training or staff development will be considered on-duty status--and as such--should retain his/her rights in the position held at the time leave was granted or in a position with at least comparable rights and benefits which normally accrue under State law (e.g., salary increments, annual leave, etc.).

  • Leave and/or payments for training costs may be terminated upon proof of abuse (e.g. nonattendance at classes without valid reason), and non-personal service costs paid back to the Treasury of the United States.

4. Travel for training and staff development

The cost of travel, including per diem or subsistence in lieu of per diem, is a proper charge to the disability program if carried out in accordance with provisions of State law, regulation, and administrative procedure applicable to travel.

Certain categories of travel may be charged to the disability program without prior authorization by SSA, provided its purpose is directly related to the dis