Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the state-level agency responsible for determining whether claimants are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

DDS makes the initial determination for each Social Security disability benefits application. DDS also rules on cases that are resubmitted for reconsideration.

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration, and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured” – meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes
  • Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need