RI Department of Human Services
Office of Rehabilitation Services
"Helping Individuals with Disabilities to Choose, Find
and Keep Employment"
Disability Determination Services
Disability Determination Services (DDS) is a unit within the Office of Rehabilitation Services. DDS is the state agency which determines the medical eligibility of Rhode Island residents (children and adults) who have applied for cash benefits under the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The two SSA disability programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (Title II) and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) (Title XVI). The DDS is responsible for collecting medical evidence of record and determining whether the claimant is disabled and/or blind as defined by the Social Security Act.
SSDI (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 FICA tax on their earnings and also to certain disabled dependents of insured individuals. SSI (Title XVI) provides payments to individuals (including children under age 18) who are disabled and have limited income and resources. It is possible for an individual to be eligible for both SSDI and SSI simultaneously.
The Social Security Act and related rules and regulations detail the parameters used to determine if an individual meets SSA’s definition of disability. The criteria used by SSA are not necessarily the same as the criteria applied in other government and private disability programs.
Definition of a Disability
Disability in Children
What Is A "Medically
The Disability Determination
Social Security Field
The field office is responsible for verifying non-medical eligibility requirements, which may include age, employment history, marital status, and other Social Security coverage information. The field office sends the case to the DDS for an evaluation of the individual’s eligibility based on medical and vocational factors.
Local Social Security Offices
30 Quaker Lane, 1st Floor
4 Pleasant Street
130 Bellevue Avenue
2 Shaws Cove, Room 203
An individual found ineligible for disability benefits will have 60 days to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration.
If benefits are ceased, the individual has appeal rights and the opportunity for a face-to-face hearing.
All applicants, whether allowed benefits or not, may be referred for vocational rehabilitation with the Office of Rehabilitation Services.
If Further Information
Is Required Regarding Disability Determination,