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Disability Determination Services

The Virginia Disability Determination Services (DDS), a division within DARS, works in partnership with the Social Security Administration and the Virginia Department of Social Services to make decisions on disability claims for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid Programs. Following federal regulations, DDS commits to making accurate and prompt disability decisions based on medical and psychological evidence. If applicable, DDS also considers school information and/or vocational criteria as well.

MISSION: DDS is committed to making accurate, prompt decisions on disability claims under the Disability Insurance Benefits (Title II), Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI), and Medicaid (Title XIX) Programs.


  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): This program requires a person with a disability to have worked for a substantial period in employment covered by Social Security. Beginning at age 18, a dependent, adult child of a worker who is retired, disabled or deceased, may be eligible for benefits if the child became permanently disabled before age 22. Benefits also may be paid to a widow, widower or surviving divorced wife of an insured worker, SSDI is funded through the Social Security Trust Fund.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This federally funded program is based on financial need - it is not necessary for persons with disabilities to have worked under Social Security. Basic medical criteria for eligibility are the same for both SSI and SSDI. Recipients of benefits under both programs also may be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare benefits.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income and needy people. It covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments. A separate application for Medicaid must be filed through the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS).

For more information about SSA, visit For more information about the Virginia Department of Social Services, visit

DISABILITY DECISIONS: A team comprising a staff physician or clinical psychologist and a professionally trained analyst makes the disability decision. Applications for Social Security disability benefits may be completed online at Apply for Benefits. The public may also call SSA’s toll-free number, (800) 772-1213, to schedule an appointment in person or by phone. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the toll-free TTY number, (800) 325-0778, weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Find the most conveniently located Social Security office at the Social Security Office Locator. To apply for Medicaid, visit Virginia's Medical Assistance Programs.

FRAUD PREVENTION: The Virginia DDS works in conjunction with SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) through a Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) unit to prevent fraud in the disability program. The CDI program was established in 1998 to effectively pool resources and expertise and prevent fraud in SSA’s disability programs. The CDI program’s primary mission is to obtain evidence that can resolve questions of fraud before benefits are ever paid. Reports from CDI Units can also be used to cease benefits of in-payment beneficiaries during the continuing disability review (CDR) process. For more information about CDI, OIG, or to report fraud, waste, or abuse, visit

SCHOOL EVIDENCE: For more information about the disability process, visit Childhood Disability for School Professionals. For convenience and expedited processing, schools may access forms through the following links: Teacher's Questionnaire and Request for Administrative Information. To submit completed forms:

  • Complete the selected foComplete the selected form and save it as a word document.
  • FAX – Fax forms to the toll free fax number on the DDS request letter. The first page of the fax must be the bar coded request letter from the DDS.
  • SSA SECURE WEBSITE – Upload forms to the cure website. Log on and complete the information requested. (If you do not currently have a PIN and passcode, contact your local Professional Relations officer listed below.) Upload the completed forms and click the send button. The report will be sent directly to the student's electronic disability claim folder.

INFORMATION FOR REPRESENTATIVES: Authorized representatives must provide SSA an Appointment of Representative form (SSA 1696), signed by the individual filing for benefits. This form can be found online under the Appointment Of Representative – Form SSA-1696.

The DDS cannot accept faxed lists of applicant names, provide routine status on pending claims, or respond to telephone inquiries. The DDS will provide an electronic report of pending claims that are associated with authorized representatives at our agency. To obtain this report, representatives must complete a Representative Registration Form. Fax completed registration forms to the DDS Administrative Office at (804) 662-9041. Representatives can learn more about the reporting process through the Representative Report Fact Sheet.

FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information, contact the nearest regional office listed below:

9960 Mayland Dr., Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4700 
Toll Free: (800) 523-5007 
Fax: (804) 527-4523 
TTY: (800) 464-9950
Brett Fielding, Regional Director
Alvin Gritz, Professional Relations Officer

5850 Lake Herbert Dr., Suite 200 
Norfolk, VA 23502
Phone: (757) 466-4300
Toll Free: (800) 379-4403
Fax: (757) 455-3829
TTY: (800) 464-9950
Cheryl McCall, Regional Director
Sandy Bouldin, Professional Relations Officer

11150 Fairfax Blvd., Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22030-5066
Phone: (703) 934-7400
Toll Free: (800) 379-9548
Fax: (703) 934-7410
TTY: (800) 464-9950
S Tara Lassiter, Acting Regional Director

612 S. Jefferson Street, Suite 300
Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: (540) 857-7748
Toll Free: (800) 627-1288
Fax: (540) 857-7707
TTY: (800) 464-9950
Betsy Stone, Regional Director
Melissa Phillips, Professional Relations Officer

111 Franklin Road, S.E., Suite 250
Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: (540) 512-1880
Toll Free: (877) 892-6871
Fax: (540) 512-1990 
TTY: (800) 464-9950
Betsy Stone, Regional Director
Europai Parker, Manager
Melissa Phillips, Professional Relations Officer

8004 Franklin Farms Dr.
Richmond, VA 23229-5019
Phone: (804) 662-7625
Toll Free: (800) 552-5019
Fax: (804) 662-9041 or (804) 662-7275
TTY: (800) 464-9950 
Leon Scales, DDS Director
Teresa Sizemore-Hernandez, Professional Relations Coordinator
Phone: (804) 662-9322

Assistance from the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is provided without regard to race, color, creed, sex, national origin or disability. (AA/EEO)

Prepared by:
Disability Determination Services
8004 Franklin Farms Dr. | P.O. Box K-300 | Richmond, VA 23288-0300

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© Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Commonwealth of Virginia