Disability Determination Specialist I

Recruitment #210331-K11A-01


Location: Disability Determination Division – OKC

May fill at a Level III, K11C or Level II, K11B

Essential Functions:
The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:
Reviews and analyzes evidence of illness, injury, disease or other medical conditions and vocational factors, which prevent an individual from working or gaining employment, and prepares a determination to approve or deny disability benefits.  Prepares a detailed written analysis explaining the facts of the case and the basis for the decision and provides written notice to the claimant and the Social Security Administration. Maintains a complex and diverse caseload of Social Security Disability claims and claims for Supplemental Security Income at various stages of development, and exercises judgment to insure resolution of all issues. Protects and safeguards confidential and sensitive personal, medical, and vocational information in accordance with federal and state mandates. Completes case reviews on a variety of difficult or complex disability cases, at different stages of development, in order to assure compliance with internal office procedures, Social Security laws and regulations and legal statutes. Determines the medical and vocational information needed to substantiate the claim, analyzes medical, vocational, educational, and other collateral information received and integrates those findings with Social Security regulations concerning disability and with facts of that particular claim. Determines the need for additional medical tests, evaluations, or consultative examinations in the fields of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, or other specialties and arranges for expenditure of funds for medical evidence. Prepares a written residual functional capacity assessment based on the severity of the medical condition and the nature of the impairment. Consults with internal and external professionals, or contract providers, including physicians, psychologists, and vocational experts to address highly complex issues. Interviews or corresponds with claimants, family members, legal representatives, employers, community resources and others as needed to obtain additional information or collateral evidence concerning an individual’s functional abilities.

Probation period (or Trial period if applicable) is required.

Background Check
Individuals selected for positions with Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS)/Disability Determination Services (DDS) will go through a complete federal background investigation. A suitability determination by the Social Security Administration is necessary to determine whether an employee can be issued credentials in order to have access to Social Security disability data, records, and systems.


Method of Application: 
ALL SOURCES – Applicants, without previous classified state service, those that are in the unclassified status OR currently in probationary status, must apply through the Office of Management and Enterprise Services OKJOBS on-line External Listings applicant system (www.jobaps.com/ok/). 

Current State of Oklahoma employees with permanent status in the classified service, or those having reinstatement rights must apply through the Office of Management and Enterprise Services OKJOBS on-line Internal Listings applicant system (www.jobaps.com/OK/promo.asp).

For questions regarding specific duties or details of this job, please contact Human Resources at HR@okdrs.gov

For inquiries on the application process or general application inquiries, please contact Applicant Services at (405) 521-2177.

An Equal Opportunity Employer


Positions in this job family perform complex professional level work, interpreting and implementing provisions of the Federal Social Security Act to determine eligibility for disability benefits for applicants throughout the state of Oklahoma.  Incumbents obtain, evaluate and analyze all pertinent information to prepare a legally defensible disability determination to approve or deny benefits.


This job family consists of four levels of work which are distinguished by the level of complexity and diversity of the specific job assignments, the level of expertise required for the completion of duties assigned and the responsibility assigned for assisting, training and supervising others.

Level I:
This is the basic level, where incumbents, under direct supervision, receive mandatory classroom training in case processing, medical evaluation and terminology, vocational evaluation, internal procedures for case development and in the provisions of the Social Security Act, concerning eligibility for disability benefits. Incumbents perform entry level professional work in managing a progressive caseload of Title II and Title XVI disability claims and  learn to process disability cases using various secure software applications with Federal and State operating systems.  Incumbents learn to evaluate disability applications for benefits in order to resolve jurisdictional issues and to resolve conflicts in evidence through contact with claimants, representatives, employers, medical providers and others.  Incumbents analyze and evaluate multiple case issues simultaneously; analyze medical source opinions and effects of medication or pain on the claimant’s ability to function in a work environment; assess credibility of claimant’s statements regarding their ability to work and prepare vocational assessments for adults based on a variety of vocational factors.

Level II:

This is the career level where employees have responsibility for a full range of activities involved in independently developing, reviewing, analyzing and adjudicating disability claims at different degrees of complexity.  Incumbents independently plan and carry out assignments, interpret policy and determine methods and contacts. In addition to tasks performed at Level I, employees at this level will manage a full caseload of disability claims and prepare legally defensible disability determinations for review at the appellate levels, assess unusual circumstances, incomplete or conflicting data and interpret and implement methodology resulting from such elements as continuous changes in the disability program and advancements.

Level III:
This is the specialist level where  the employees perform advanced level professional work  and provide expertise in the disability claims adjudication process by advising other staff, as well as analyzing and evaluating unusually complex and difficult cases which encompass sensitive, controversial and technical issues; evaluate the total effect of multiple interrelated issues; perform a complete and independent evaluation of all facts and evidence defining legal and factual issues; research pertinent decisions and other reference materials; apply laws, regulations, policies and procedures to determine appropriate action; and apply guidelines and  precedents in non-routine situations.  Duties at this level may also include training and mentoring staff.  At this level employees are given wide latitude for exercising independent judgment.


Level I:
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor's degree; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one year of professional or technical disability determination experience in the adjudication of  Social Security disability claims in a designated state agency for each year of the required education.

Level II:
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified at Level I plus one additional years of professional level experience in adjudicating disability determinations for the Social Security Administration in a designated state agency.

Level III:
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified at Level II plus two additional years of professional level experience in adjudicating disability determinations for the Social Security Administration in a designated state agency.

NOTE:  No substitution will be allowed for the professional or technical experience in adjudicating disability determinations for the Social Security Administration in a designated state agency.


Please read instructions carefully and include all required documents when you submit your application.

No additional information will be accepted after the application has been submitted.

Selection Plan

Scores Based On:   100% Qualification Review 

***NOTE:  Names of eligible applicants can be made available to State agencies upon their request, immediately following the closing date and time.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet. Apply Online
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.