Jo Ann Summers, Director
Disability Determination Services (DDS) is an agency in the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS) which operates in a partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make disability decisions on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability claims. This office handles claims from all 23 SSA offices in Mississippi.
About the Social Security Disability Program
Applicants file for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA.) These claims are forwarded to DDS where criteria, set forth by SSA, is used in evaluating the claim for disability.
When a claim reaches DDS, it is assigned to a Disability Examiner (DE). Examiners are responsible for obtaining medical and vocational evidence to evaluate the claimant's allegations based on SSA criteria. If the medical records provided by the claimant's treating physician are incomplete, the DE may request a consultative examination (CE), at no cost to the claimant.
DDS has a Medical Unit staffed with medical and psychological consultants who provide expert opinions concerning the claimant's residual functional capacity. When all medical and vocational development is complete, a recommended decision is rendered to the Social Security Administration. All decisions are subject to review by either our Internal Quality Component (Quality Assurance) or SSA Office of Quality Performance. All decisions of DDS may be appealed by contacting the Social Security Administration.
Impact in Mississippi
The Mississippi DDS adjudicated 86,281 cases for Federal Fiscal Year 2015. The MS DDS is consistently recognized for excellence in public service in the key performance areas measured by the Social Security Administration. These performance indicators include Quality, Timeliness, Productivity, and Cost-Effective Determinations.
The economic benefit from the SSA Disability program has a significant impact on the state as well as the individuals with disabilities by providing monthly benefits. These monthly benefits provide economic freedom to the citizens with disabilities and their families. This program is an integral part of the economic fabric of our state. In addition to the financial impact, a secondary benefit of the disability program is the access provided to health coverage via Medicare and Medicaid.
There are 160,251 Social Security Disability beneficiaries in the state of Mississippi. The average Social Security Disability payment is $969 per month. The sum total of the disability payments is $155,327,000. There are 71,776 SSI recipients in the state. The average monthly benefit for the SSI recipient is $506 per month. The total number of disability beneficiaries in Mississippi is 232,027 (based on SSA data).