Adjudicate claims for persons filing for disability benefits with Social Security

VR's Disability Determination Services (DDS) makes every attempt to obtain evidence from the patient's treating sources first. However, if that evidence is unavailable or insufficient to make a determination, DDS will arrange for a consultative examination (CE) in order to obtain the information needed.

Physicians

Community physicians and other health professionals are contracted to perform these examinations. To become a provider of CEs, a brief application and a site visit by a Medical Relations Officer are required. All providers must possess a medical degree and be licensed in the state of SC. All providers must also have appropriate training and experience to provide the type of examination or test required by DDS.

Types of physical exams purchased:

  1. General Medical
  2. Orthopedic
  3. Neurology
  4. Otologic
  5. Ophthalmology

Additional tests may be requested on occasion. All exams require a report that includes features such as review of relevant history, the relevant exam, diagnosis and an assessment of functional abilities as they pertain to the ability to work.

DDS uses an electronic case processing system and can send and receive documents to providers electronically or via conventional mail. DDS also offers a teledictation service, which greatly reduces the amount of time required in report preparation. Evaluations are conducted in the provider's office. The exam is conducted at no charge to the claimant, and the provider submits requests for payment directly to DDS. DDS has offices in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston; however, CEs are needed in all areas of the state.


Psychologists / Psychiatrists

DDS purchases CEs from community psychiatrists and psychologists when additional information is needed in order to adjudicate disability claims. To become a provider of CEs, a brief application and a site visit by a Medical Relations Officer are required. All providers must possess a doctorate in psychology or a medical degree and be licensed in the state of SC. All providers must have appropriate training and experience to provide the type of examination or test required by DDS.

Types of mental exams purchased:

  1. Psychiatric Exams (mental status evaluations conducted by a psychiatrist)
  2. Mental Status Exams (mental status evaluations conducted by a psychologist)
  3. Psychological Exams which are conducted by psychologists and include psychological (intellectual and achievement) testing

Additional tests may be requested and neuropsychological exams are purchased on occasion. All exams require a report that includes features such as review of relevant history, mental status exam, DSM-IV diagnosis and an assessment of functional abilities as they pertain to the ability to work.

DDS uses a fully electronic system and can send and receive documents to providers electronically or via conventional mail. DDS also offers a teledictation service which greatly reduces the amount of time required in report preparation. Evaluations are conducted in the provider's office. The evaluation is conducted at no charge to the claimant, and providers submit requests for payment directly to DDS. DDS has offices in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston; however, CEs are needed in all areas of the state.


Speech-Language Pathologists

DDS purchases CEs from speech-language pathologists in the community when additional information is needed in order to adjudicate disability claims. To become a provider of CEs, a brief application and a site visit by a Medical Relations Officer are required. All providers must possess appropriate training and experience and be licensed as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of SC.

All Speech-Language Evaluations include a review of developmental history, an oral-peripheral exam, comprehensive speech testing and comprehensive language testing. All exams require a report along with diagnosis and conclusions regarding the impact of any diagnosed impairment on functioning.

DDS is fully electronic and can send and receive documents to providers electronically or via conventional mail. The DDS also offers a teledictation service which greatly reduces the amount of time required in report preparation. Evaluations are conducted in the provider's office. The exam is conducted at no charge to the claimant, and the provider submits requests for payment directly to DDS. DDS has offices in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston; however, Consultative Examinations are needed in all areas of the state.


Current Fee Schedule for Exams:

For information about fees please contact one of the medical professional officers listed.


For more information about becoming a provider, contact:

Kenneth R. Norris (Administrative Services Supervisor): 803-896-6393

Diane Hare (State Medical Professional Relations Supervisor): 803-896-6799

Allison Toy (Medical Professional Relations Officer, Columbia Office): 803-896-6708

Candace Harmon (Medical Professional Relations Officer, Charleston Office): 843-953-0335

Joseph Finlay (Medical Professional Relations Officer, Greenville Office): 864-282-4056


Full-time DDS Consultant positions are also available. Visit the Jobs section of the website for more information.