DI 39557.001 Standards of Performance -- DDS

A. Background

The Secretary is required to establish by regulations, standards of performance and administrative requirements and procedures necessary to ensure effective and uniform administration of the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs.

The performance standards are used to:

•Improve the disability determination process

•Ensure effective, timely and accurate service to the public

B. Policy principle

SSA specifies the expected performance levels; however, the State is responsible for day-to-day management.

SSA has the responsibility to provide program standards and leadership and to monitor and evaluate State performance under the regulations.

SSA will provide funds and resources to 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 Determinations (ODD) is responsible for the management of a national disability program.

  1. a. 

    ODD will:

    • monitor DDS performance to detect adverse performance trends, and

    • recommend corrective actions to the RO.

  2. b. 

    ODD will work with the regional offices (RO) to determine:

    • which DDSs are experiencing performance problems,

    • the causes of the problems, and

    • corrective actions planned or underway.

  3. c. 

    ODD 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 must be 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 early so that corrective actions can be taken before performance deteriorates to unacceptable levels.

  1. a. 

    The RO will monitor not only accuracy and processing time measures but other workload indicators that may offer signs of potential problems such as:

    • pending workloads

    • aged cases

    • staffing levels, and

    • production per work year (PPWY)

  2. b. 

    The RO will work with each DDS to develop an internal mechanism that allows management to assess the effectiveness of their operation.

  3. c. 

    The RO will conduct periodic 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.

  4. d. 

    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

  1. a. 

    The State will comply with Federal regulations, rulings, and SSA's other written guidelines.

  2. b. 

    The State is responsible for maintaining a level of performance that meets published accuracy and processing time standards (see DI 39557.003).

  3. c. 

    The State is responsible for providing

    • qualified management

    • organizational structure

    • adequate facilities

    • qualified, well-trained personnel

    • medical consultant services

    • a quality assurance (QA) function

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
DI 39557.001 - Standards of Performance -- DDS - 08/22/1996
Batch run: 03/25/2020