There is an agency in every state that employs disability claims examiners who decide the disability claims for Social Security and Medicaid cases for all applicants of that state.

All states have at least one office for the disability determination agency and some only have one centralized office for all disability claims. But other states have multiple DDS offices. You can find the name and contact information for your state’s disability agency by visiting our state-specific disability information pages.

The disability determination agency is the state-level agency whose basic task is determining the eligibility of disability applicants to receive cash disability benefits or benefits from the state’s adult Medicaid program. Examiners at DDS decides both Social Security Disability claims and SSI disability claims.

DDS is where the question of medical eligibility for disability is resolved at both the initial application and reconsideration (the first level of appeal). This can be the bane of many SSD claimants (approximately 65% of disability claims are denied. Furthermore, about 87% of the reconsideration claims are denied so it’s important to have a Social Security disability lawyer on call to help with this.