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DESE-Related Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information - Click Here

Attention: Phone systems across the country are getting overloaded due to a large volume of calls being placed while we are practicing social distancing.
If you are having difficulty calling, please try again later or email us. Thank you for your patience.

Disability Determination

Disability Determination Services: Due to COVID-19, DDS is suspending in-person services to the public starting 3/18/2020 to protect the population we serve and our employees. DDS is still working to answer your questions or concerns. Contact your local office by phone for assistance. Please be aware that we are receiving a large volume of calls at this time. If you are unable to reach us, we ask that you leave a message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.



What is the Disability Determination program?

Disability Determination Services (DDS) determines medical eligibility for Missourians who have filed for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA).  SSA manages two programs that award benefits because of disability or blindness.   Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Title II, provides benefits for individuals who are disabled or blind and are "insured" based on the Social Security tax they paid on their earnings or the earnings of their spouse or parents.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Title XVI, provides payments to individuals that are disabled or blind, including children under age 18, who have limited income and resources.  Once a disability benefits claim has been filed with SSA, if the individual meets the non-medical requirements, the disability claim will be forwarded to DDS, a state agency, under the Office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services.  Regulated and fully funded by the federal government, DDS decides whether or not a claimant’s medical condition is considered a disability under Social Security law.  To document the medical conditions of individuals, who have filed disability claims, DDS contacts doctors, hospitals, schools, employers, and other sources to obtain medical records and functional information.

Sometimes an independent exam is necessary in determining disability eligibility.  Using this medical information, along with the person's age, daily activity level, education, and past work experience, DDS will make a recommendation as to whether the individual's condition meets SSA’s medical requirements.  SSA will then determine whether the individual meets the non-medical standards.

The Social Security Disability program provides economic security to many Missouri citizens who are unable to work due to a disability.  For additional information, contact Social Security Online.