Governor Sam Brownback presented the U.S. Social Security Administration Commissioner’s Citation for Outstanding Performance to employees of the Topeka Disability Determination Service (DDS) during a ceremony and reception Monday.
It’s the seventh year in a row DDS has been recognized with the prestigious national honor.
“No other state in the country has matched this exceptional level of performance for such a period of time,” said Governor Sam Brownback. “I’m incredibly impressed and proud of the achievements of this group of state employees.”
DDS, which is housed under the Rehabilitation Services program in the Kansas Department for Children and Families, makes disability and blindness determinations for the U.S. Social Security Administration. The staff of 42 trained examiners conducts complex medical analysis on more than 32,000 claims per year.
“Kansas taxpayers have a right to expect quality, timeliness, efficiency and responsible stewardship of public funds from their government, and it’s apparent that these are all areas where DDS excels,” said Governor Brownback.
The accuracy with which DDS processes claims is currently rated at 98 percent, with an average processing time of only 90 days. While making determinations in a timely and accurate fashion, DDS workers analyze 12 percent more claims than the nationwide average. At the same time, they keep a sharp eye out for fraud. Last year 85 claims were closed because of substantiated fraud, resulting in a savings of $12.5 million to taxpayers.
“The speed, accuracy and commitment are simply extraordinary,” said DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. “No other state can match this exceptional level of performance.”
In addition, Kansas DDS is looked upon nationally as a leader and innovator. Recently, DDS automated a reporting process for workload sampling, moving from a paper format to a computerized report. The Social Security Administration has been so impressed with this new process that it will soon begin implementing it nationally.
“Despite significant attrition, Kansas DDS examiners maintained exceptional quality while providing timely and compassionate service and contributing to agency goals,” according to the award letter sent by Social Security Administration Regional Commissioner Ken Powell.
DDS is managed by state government but is funded with federal dollars.