Public Law 96-265;
20 CFR Parts 404 and 416
DI 39557.001 Standards of Performance -- DDS
The Secretary is requiredto establish by regulations, standards of performance and administrative requirements and procedures necessary to ensure effective and uniform administrationof the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs.
The performance standards are used to:
•Improve the disability determination process;
•Ensure effective, timely and accurate serviceto the public.
B. Policy principle
SSA specifies the expected performance levels; however, the State is responsible for day to day management.
SSA hasthe responsibilityto provide program standards and leadershipand to monitorand evaluate State performance under the regulations.
SSA will provide fundsand resourcesto the States for maintaining an effective system for processing claims but will not get involved in the State's day-to-day management of the disability determination services (DDS) operation as long as performance is adequate under the standards SSA has set.
C. Operating policy
1. SSA central office (CO) responsibilities
The Office of Disability (OD)is responsiblefor the management of a national disability program.
monitorDDS performance to detect adverse performance trends, and
recommendcorrective actions to the RO.
OD will work with the regional offices (RO) to determine:
which DDSs are experiencing performance problems,
the causes of the problems, and
corrective actions plannedor underway.
OD will work with other SSA CO components to monitor and evaluate DDS performance.
2. SSA RO responsibilities
The RO has the primary responsibility for monitoring and evaluating DDS performance. The RO mustbe aware of the overall conditions of an agency's operation at all times.
Regular program visits, good communications, and periodic reviews are essential to DDS performance management.
It is critical that problems be identified earlyso that corrective actions can be taken before performance deteriorates to unacceptable levels.
The RO will monitornot only accuracy and processing time measures but other workload indicators that may offer signs of potential problems such as:
The RO will work with each DDSto develop an internal mechanism that allows management to assess the effectiveness of their operation.
The RO will conductperiodic fiscal and administrative management reviews (FAMR) as resources permits, not only as part of technical and management assistance (TMA) but also as a means of monitoring and evaluating performance.
The approach used by the RO staff to foster good performance management may differ from locale to locale, depending on State factors and other differences (e.g., geographical) that affect DDS internal operations.
3. State responsibilities
The State will complywith Federal regulations, rulings, and SSA's other written guidelines.
The State is responsiblefor maintaining a level of performance that meets published accuracy and processing time standards (see DI 39557.003).
The State is responsiblefor providing
qualified, well-trained personnel
medical consultant services
a quality assurance (QA) function