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Bureau of Disability Determination

(Disability Determination Services)

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry's Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) assists the Social Security Administration (SSA) in determining disability under SSA laws. SSA refers to state agencies like Pennsylvania's BDD, as Disability Determination Services (DDS).

SSA sends claims to BDD to determine medical eligibility. BDD requests medical and other information to determine if an applicant meets SSA disability law. Once the medical review is complete, the claim returns to SSA for final processing.

BDD handles SSA disability claims in Pennsylvania, but not short-term disability claims. For information on short-term disability, see below link.

Types of Disability Benefits

Social Security BenefitsShort-Term Disability Benefits

Who Should I Contact?

Contact your local SSA Field Office, if:  

    • You have questions or want more information about:
        • Disability benefits
        • Eligibility
        • How to apply for disability benefits
        • The disability application process
        • The status of a disability application
        • Awarded benefits
    • You want to file an appeal on a decision for a disability claim. For more information on how to appeal a decision, visit Social Security Appeals.

Contact us (BDD), if:

    • The local SSA field office informs you that your claim is pending at the DDS.
    • You received a call or letter from BDD about needing information about medical sources.
    • You appealed and received a call or letter about a disability hearing.  


Contact BDD By Telephone

    • Toll-free: 1-888-772-1409
    • Operates Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact SSA By Telephone

    • Toll-free: 1-800-772-1213
    • Operates Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Recorded information and services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
    • If you are hearing impaired, call the toll-free "TTY" number: 1-800-325-0778 (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) 

Find Your Local SSA Office

Type in your ZIP code using the Social Security Office Locator to find an office near you.

Request Public Information Materials

Visit SSA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for details.

Questions about Short-Term Disability?

    • The state of Pennsylvania does not offer short-term disability benefits. Short-term disability insurance must be purchased from a private company.
    • BDD administers the Federal Social Security Disability program. Find more information about federal SSA disability benefits online or from your local SSA Field Office.

Terms and Abbreviations

BDD - Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry's Bureau of Disability Determination

SSA.- Social Security Administration

DDS - Disability Determination Services (how SSA refers to state disability determination offices). 

SSDISocial Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to individuals and certain family members if they are "insured." This means that they worked long enough – and recently enough - and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings.

SSISupplemental Security Income program provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI payments are also made to people age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.