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The staff at the Maine DDS office has been furloughed due to the federal government shutdown. The Portland Press Herald has the story.

DDS is the state agency that makes Social Security disability determinations at the initial and reconsideration levels of administrative review. Although DDS workers are technically state workers, the federal government reimburses

I have written before about the backlog at the Maine Disability Determination Services, particularly at Reconsideration, since initial claims are given priority. Now, some Reconsideration claims are being routed to the Vermont DDS to help ease the work load.

These claims, if denied again at Reconsideration and appealed, will have hearings in Maine. But the

The phrase "lost in translation" aptly describes what often happens with a Social Security disability claim at Disability Determination Services (the state agency that makes disability determinations at the initial application and reconsideration levels).

DDS obtains your medical records and usually has them reviewed by a DDS in-house doctor (for physical impairments) and/or a psychologist

The Reconsideration step of the Social Security disability claim process can be an unfriendly place.

On a national basis, 87% of claims are denied again at Reconsideration. That's 7 out of 8. I would say that my practice in Maine experiences a similar percentage of Reconsideration denials (In New Hampshire, however, disability claims go directly

The Social Security Administration has released its "waterfall" chart for Fiscal Year 2010. These are very recent statistics.

At the Initial application level, on a nation-wise basis, 35% of disability claims were allowed, and 65% were denied. At the Reconsideration level, of the denied claims that were appealed, just 13% were allowed, and 87% were

When you file a Social Security disability claim, it goes to a state agency for a medical determination. The agency is called Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Maine, but some other states have slightly different names for their agencies. In Maine, the first appeal of a denied disability claim also goes to DDS for Reconsideration.