SSA's policy is to provide the State DDSs with the electronic data processing (EDP)
capabilities necessary to accomplish their disability determination work in a cost
effective manner. These capabilities may be provided by independent systems in the
DDS, State or parent agency systems to which DDSs have access, case control, and management
information systems developed by SSA or a combination of these systems.
Previously, Fiscal and Administrative Letter (FAL) No. 176 provided the guidelines
and requirements for documentation needed by a DDS to establish justification for
a system. Most DDSs now have some EDP capability and every DDS without a current operating
system is in the process of developing such capability. These instructions recognize
that future requests for EDP procurement will involve requests to either upgrade or
expand existing systems. Some DDS systems are approaching the end of their life cycle
and may need to be replaced. These requests, like requests for completely new systems,
will require a thorough feasibility study and cost/benefit analysis.
EDP is essential and necessary for DDSs to operate efficiently. As the Systems Modernization
Plan (SMP) evolves, it will be necessary for DDSs to have greater capability to interface
with SSA's systems.
While SSA recognizes the need for EDP by DDSs, expenditures must be fully documented
and justified. EDP must be well managed or the anticipated benefits may not be realized.