Disability Determination Services (DDS) evaluates claims and makes medical disability determinations for North Dakotans using Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines. The Social Security program provides benefits to persons with disabilities who are unable to work. Those benefits include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/ or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Mission Statement

To improve the quality of life for North Dakotans with disabilities who apply for or receive Social Security Administration disability benefits, by making timely, consistent and accurate disability determinations.

Accomplishing the Mission

  • SSA contracts with North Dakota DDS to make decisions on behalf of the Commissioner of SSA on whether individuals applying for SSA disability benefits are medically eligible.
  • Disability claims analysts review submitted disability applications and request medical records from the claimant's medical sources.
  • Claims analysts also communicate or correspond by phone or letter with claimants, family members, legal representatives, and others to obtain additional information necessary for the claim.
  • Claims analysts are responsible for reviewing and analyzing the medical evidence, writing comprehensive assessments based on medical and vocation factors, and applying SSA regulations and policy in order to reach an eligibility determination.

The Determination Process

DDS staff obtain evidence from the individual's own medical sources. Staff arrange for a consultative medical examination to obtain additional information if medical evidence is unavailable or is insufficient to make a medical determination. A two-person team, consisting of a medical or psychological consultant and a DDS disability claims analyst, make the disability determination.

DDS returns the claim to the SSA field office for appropriate action and communication with applicants. Although DDS makes the disability determination for SSA, only SSA can determine who is eligible to receive benefits. DDS determines if an applicant is disabled according to federal criteria.

Applying for Benefits

North Dakotans with physical or mental impairments apply for benefits directly to the SSA. The application is then forwarded to DDS by SSA. Individuals can apply for SSDI or SSI benefits through Social Security in one of three ways:

IMPORTANT: You MUST submit your application through SSA. Please do not submit disability benefits application to the DDS.

If you have filed a disability claim, you can contact North Dakota DDS at:

1237 W. Divide, Suite 4
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: (701) 328-8700, or for people using teletype technology 711 (TTY)

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