Iowa Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services (DDS) is a bureau within the IVRS structure. DDS provides services involving the receipt and evaluations of claims received from Iowa citizens with disabilities to determine their eligibility for economic support via Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits. The program is totally federally funded. Below is additional basic information regarding the Social Security Administration.
Basic Program Information
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs
that provide benefits based on disability: the Social Security disability
insurance program (Title II of the Social Security Act (the Act) and
the supplemental security income (SSI) program (Title XVI of the Act).
Title II provides for payment of disability benefits to individuals
who are "insured" under the Act by virtue of their contributions to
the Social Security trust fund through the Social Security tax on
their earnings, as well as to certain disabled dependents of insured
individuals. Title XVI Provides for SSI payments to individuals (including
children under age 18) who are disabled and have limited income and
The Act and SSA's implementing regulations prescribe rules for deciding
if an individual is "disabled." SSA's criteria for deciding if someone
is disabled are not necessarily the same as the criteria applied in
other Government and private disability programs.
Definition of Disability
For all individuals applying for disability benefits under title
II, and for adults applying under title XVI, the definition of disability
is the same. The law defines disability as the inability to engage
in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairments(s) which can be expected to result
in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less that 12 months.
Disability in Children
Under title XVI, a child under age 18 will be considered disabled
if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment
or combination of impairments that causes marked and severe functional
limitations, and that can be expected to cause death or that has lasted
or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less that
What is a "Medically Determinable Impairment"
A medically determinable physical or mental impairment is an impairment
that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities
which can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory
diagnostic techniques. A physical or mental impairment must be established
by medical evidence consisting of signs, symptoms, and laboratory
findings-not only by the individual's statement of symptoms.
The Disability Determination Process
Most disability claims are initially processed through a network
of local determination services, or DDS. Subsequent appeals of unfavorable
determinations may be decided in the DDS or by administrative law
judges in SSA's Office of Hearings and Appeals.
Social Security Field Offices
SSA representatives in the field offices usually obtain applications
for disability benefits, either in person, by telephone, or by mail.
The application and related forms ask for a description of the claimant's
impairment(s), names, addresses, and telephone numbers of treatment
sources, and other information that relates to the alleged disability.
(The "claimant" is the person who is requesting disability benefits.)
The field office is responsible for verifying nonmedical eligibility
requirement, which may include age, employment, marital status, or
Social Security coverage information. The field office send the case
to a DDS for evaluation of disability.
You must file for disability benefits at your local federal Social
Security Office. You may either call toll free at 1-800-772-1213 or
visit your local office listed below.