Disability Determination Services (DDS) makes the medical-vocational determinations for Social Security claims at the initial and reconsideration levels.
I have noticed that claims are moving slower lately at the Maine DDS. I checked yesterday on a claim on Reconsideration. The Reconsideration request was received by the Maine DDS on May 12. That's 6 weeks ago. The claim has yet to be assigned to a disability examiner for Reconsideration. Nothing happens with a claim until it is assigned to a disability examiner. So that 6 weeks is just lost time.
I inquired about the delay, and was told that it was due to an increased volume of claims and reduced level of staff at Maine DDS.
Unfortunately for the disabled worker with a Maine Social Security claim, this growing backlog at the Maine DDS threatens to offset the recent gains at the Portland Hearing office. So while the wait for a hearing in Maine is several months shorter than it was a year ago, those several months may now be spent at the DDS level.