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Disability Determination Services

Disability Determination Services (DDS) is contracted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to adjudicate medical eligibility for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income rules and regulations.

Alaska Disability Determination Services
Chief of Services:
Brett Smith
619 East Ship Creek #305
Anchorage, AK 99501

Who We Are and What We Do

Disability Determination Services (DDS) is an agency of the state of Alaska. Under Social Security regulations, the DDS disability specialists, contract physicians, and psychologists determine eligibility of Alaskan applicants for two disability programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Alaskan DDS has one branch office, located in Anchorage, AK, to serve disability applicants of Alaska. Anchorage's Disability Determination Services (DDS) employs 32 people and receives over 100 new claims each week. The following claims are processed in the Anchorage DDS:

  • Initial Applications
  • Continuing Disability Reviews: Periodic reviews to determine if those who are on benefits still qualify.
  • Disability Hearings: Face to face informal hearings as part of the appeal of Continuing Disability Review cessation

What Happens at the DDS

Applications for SSDI and SSI are filed at local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices. If the case meets the work credit (SSDI) or income/asset criteria (SSI), the case is sent to the DDS for development of the medical evidence and for a medical determination of disability. A disability adjudicator is assigned the case and begins development by requesting all medical and non-medical evidence listed by the applicant. As the information is received, the disability specialists, who have doctors available for consultation, review the evidence and analyze it against the Social Security Disability Regulations. If the regulations are not met, a function by function assessment is prepared. Age, education, and past work experience are also considered in the disability decision. After a decision is made, the case file is returned to the Social Security Administration office.

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 where are recognized in many other benefit programs do not qualify for SSDI or SSI
  • 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.

How to Apply

  1. By phone: 1-800-772-1213
  2. By internet: Click Here to Apply
  3. Or visit one of the offices below:
222 W 8TH AVE RM A11
101 12TH AVE RM 138
709 W 9TH RM 231
Juneau, AK 99801

Questions or Comments

For questions or comments regarding Anchorage's Disability Determination Services, contact us at 1-907-777-8100, or toll free at 1-800-577-3334.