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  • Celebrating Black History Month

    February is Black History Month, a time for us to honor Black Americans’ achievements in the face of systemic oppression throughout our Nation’s history. In 2021, we celebrated the Former Acting Commissioner of Social Security (ACOSS), Carolyn W. Colvin, M.B.A., her achievements while in office, and her support of the SAMHSA SOAR model.

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    Article
  • Consultative Exams: A DDS Option to Gather Additional Information

    In the process of collecting medical evidence, the DDS examiner may decide that there is insufficient information to make a determination about disability. In this case, the DDS examiner can request an evaluation from an outside source called a Consultative Exam (CE).

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    Article
  • DEI Resources Overview

    The following resources have been created and/or revised to provide guidance and action steps that SOAR providers can implement in SOAR service delivery as well as resources that supervisors are encouraged to use to support them.

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    Article
  • Identifying Possible Special Medical Vocational Profiles

    In an effort to better identify appropriate SOAR claimants, identifying claims which are more likely to have a favorable outcome is paramount. Social Security has developed Special Medical Vocational Profiles, which are rare combinations of adversities that combine, along with impairments, to result in a finding of disabled. 

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    Article
  • Interviewing for the MSR

    One of the most important tasks for you to accomplish is to make the link between diagnosis and functional impairment so that DDS can fully understand the applicant’s disability. This article discusses how to ask questions that elicit the information you will use to write your Medical Summary Report (MSR).

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    Article
  • Linking Functional Information to Diagnosis and Impairment

    For applicants with mental disorders, DDS examiners look at a person’s ability to function in four primary areas. Your responsibility is to describe the functioning of the individual in as much detail as possible and to document how the person’s illness impairs his or her ability to function and maintain employment at a substantial gainful level.

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    Article