Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Disability Determination Services Process Review

Definition of Disability

An individual must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful work activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which is expected to last for 12 continuous months or result in death.

  • Partial or temporary disabilities which are recognized in many other benefit programs do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance - SSDI, Supplemental Security Income - SSI or Non-Grant Medical Assistance - NGMA.
  • A doctor's opinion that an individual is unable to work is not enough for a determination of eligibility. The impairment must be demonstrated through medical signs, symptoms, and laboratory or other test findings.
  • The documentation of the medical impairment must be sufficiently complete for the DDS to evaluate severity, functional restrictions, and expected duration of the impairment.

Applications for SSDI and SSI are filed at local Social Security Administration - SSA offices. Applications for NGMA disability are filed at Community Social Service offices - CSO.


How Do I Get Copies of My Records?

The DDS can send a copy of any examination. You may contact your adjudicator for instructions on completing the proper authorization. Once a decision is made, all requests for information must be submitted to the Social Security Administration. For Non-Grant Medical Assistance records, contact your Social Worker at the DSHS Community Service Office.


How Do I Apply?

Call 1-800-772-1213 or

visit www.ssa.gov/disability or

find a social security office near you.