DI 39557.013 Appraisal Techniques -- DDS

A. Operating policy--suggested guides

DDS and SSA RO staffs should work together in assuring meaningful and continuing DDS self-appraisal. Published processing and accuracy standards should be translated into internal operating goals and performance standards.

The DDS employee is then aware of the expected performance level.

DDS management and QA personnel should gain proficiency in such areas as:

  • operational analysis;

  • sample selection;

  • workflow charting and analysis;

  • report writing;

  • designing and conducting special studies.

B. Operating policy--types of appraisal techniques

1. Internal reviews and training

SSA will make available technical personnelto assist DDS staff in conducting internal reviews.

SSA may offer its servicesor the DDS may request such assistance.

If trainingis notavailable locallyfor DDS staff, SSA will identify and provide the training required.

2. Continuous self-appraisal

  1. a. 

    Continuous self-appraisalis the key to early identification of potential problem areas and to the resolution of problems.

  2. b. 

    An effective QA systemcan alert DDS management to operational difficulties before agency performance is affected adversely.

  3. c. 

    Regular supervisory reviewsof claims folders to observe case development practices, etc.

  4. d. 

    Regular analysis of caseflow and operational designto reduce multiple claims handling practices and work station delays.


  1. a. 

    The FAMRis a systematic examination and evaluation of the DDS' policies and practices as they affect the disability determination program.

  2. b. 

    An FAMR is designedto permit SSA to examine and evaluate systematicallythe overall effectivenessof the DDS.

4. Scope of FAMR guide


Administrative Management

•  DDS organization structure and composition.

•  Roles and responsibilities of DDS staff and related functions.

•  DDS meeting its operational objectives.

Personnel Management

•  State personnel policies, practices, and procedures.

•  Workpower utilization.

•  Internal communications.

Fiscal Management

•  DDS fiscal control.

•  Budget procedures.

•  State accountability for Federal funds.

Property Management

•  DDS space and facilities.

•  Maintenance and accountability of equipment.

•  Administrative, technical, and physical security safeguards.

Systems Management

•  Composition of work for processing.

•  Capability of DDS and electronic data unit to function effectively.

Professional Relations

•  Impact on the medical and legal communities.

•  Promotion of the objectives and goals of the SSA disability programs.


•  All aspects of orientation.

•  Basic and continuing technical training programs for DDS staffs.

•  Adequacy of training materials and facilites.

Production Management
NOTE: Critical to performance management in that it addresses every element of claims processing.

•  Aged cases.

•  Elapsed time studies.

•  Workflow analysis.

•  Controls.

•  Case development practices.

•  Staffing roles.

•  Relationships and interactions.

•  All other operational areas.

Quality Management

•  Facilities and QA and personnel.

•  Sampling techniques.

•  QA unit reviews.

•  Analysis and returns and other feedback.

•  Technical review.

•  Special studies.

•  Communications.

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DI 39557.013 - Appraisal Techniques -- DDS - 06/07/1999
Batch run: 04/04/2013