Weekly Focus - November 6, 2015

An update and information report for doctors who provide consultative exams for OOD’s Division of Disability Determination
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Kevin L. Miller, Executive Director

November 6, 2015

The mission of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes.

What's Inside:

Workplace Initiative of Ohio Doubles Its Goal

In November 2013, OOD began working with the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN) on a unique project.  The Poses Family Foundation, concerned about the high unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities, supported a new Central Ohio Workplace Initiative (COWI).  The purpose of this project is to work with businesses to create demand for qualified job seekers with disabilities in distribution, retail, health care and other industries.  Employers benefit from streamlined candidate sourcing, pre-screening, training assistance and more.


In 2014, COWI exceeded its goals and was responsible for 85 placements of individuals with disabilities into jobs.  As a result of this early success, the project was renewed for an additional year and has become a model to expand beyond Ohio.  COWI was also renamed the Workplace Initiative of


Ohio (WIO) to reflect the expansion of the project from central Ohio to statewide.


I am pleased to announce that the preliminary count of placements for year two of WIO, which ended on October 31st, is 264.  This is 203% of our goal of 130!  The total two-year count of placements is 350 which is 175% of the goal of 200 placements.  The Poses Family Foundation is very excited for us to continue this work into a third year.


Congrats to staff and our partners for this achievement.  Thanks for all of your hard work.  You are making a real impact in people’s lives and building a model for the nation to follow.  Let’s continue to build on this success as we enter year three.

OOD PIC LeanOhio 11042015
Tom Terez from LeanOhio speaking at OOD's new Performance Innovation Center

OOD Hosts LeanOhio Quarterly Meeting

OOD had the privilege of hosting LeanOhio’s Quarterly Meeting on Wednesday in the newly created OOD Performance Innovation Center (PIC).  I, along with the OOD Executive Team and leadership staff, welcomed more than 65 people to the meeting.  Attendees included several Cabinet-level agency directors, the LeanOhio Team, members of the statewide Lean Network and others committed to streamlining state government and making government operations more efficient. 


This meeting also served as a grand opening for the PIC.  This newly created space is designed to enhance collaboration in the problem-solving process.  Kaizen events and other Lean-powered improvement projects can take place in this area dedicated to process improvement.  OOD has a growing network of employees who have participated in trainings sponsored by LeanOhio and is proud to be able to make this unique resource available to other agencies.


The mission of LeanOhio is to make government services in Ohio simpler, faster, better and less costly.  This is accomplished by applying continuous improvement methods such as Lean and Six Sigma.  Ohio's state agencies are cutting red tape, removing inefficiencies, improving customer service and achieving measurable results.


Getting to Know OOD: Division of Disability Determination


OOD is an agency made up of several divisions.  I often talk about the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) but many members of the public do not know what DDD does.  This division is made up of 493 employees and 89 medical contractors.  DDD, in agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA), determines medical eligibility for Ohioans who apply for Social Security disability benefits.


The application process starts at the local SSA field offices around Ohio when an individual completes an application. If they are filing for disability benefits, the claim is sent electronically to DDD to determine medical eligibility.  The Social Security Act and SSA’s implementation regulations prescribe rules for deciding if an individual is disabled.  SSA’s criteria for deciding if someone is disabled are not necessarily the same as the criteria applied by other governmental and private disability programs.


For DDD, disability under Social Security rules is based on an individual’s inability to work.  Unlike workers' compensation or veteran’s benefits, Social Security has no partial or temporary disability category.


By law, Social Security has a very strict definition of disability. To be found disabled:

  • You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.

DDD is the 5th largest disability determination services unit in the country and last year completed 191,607 disability determinations.


Job Status by County

Individuals in Job Ready Status* Statewide: 3,771


(For larger map and county details please visit our website)


Job Ready Status by County


*Job Ready Status: Have received Vocational Rehabilitation services and are ready and seeking employment.


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