Weekly Focus - December 11, 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

December 11, 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:

Finding work after 18 Years

One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is learning about the inspiring stories of the individuals we serve.  They never fail to remind we why this work is so important and the impact it can have on Ohioans with disabilities.  A recent case from Portage County is a perfect example.


Through our partnership with the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Portage County, we began working with an individual who had been on social security benefits for many years due to anxiety and bipolar disorder.  This college graduate with a degree in education, however, wanted to work.  After a vocational evaluation, benefits analysis and guidance from a counselor, this 44 year-old began working with a job developer on his job search this summer.


This led to an offer from a local school district to serve as a permanent substitute teacher.  He now performs substitute teacher or administrative duties wherever he is needed each day.  After 18 years without steady employment, what an accomplishment and a true success for all.


This is another example of the importance of a motivated vocational rehabilitation team.  The individual, the counselor, the coordinator, the supervisor, the job developer, and the Mental Health and Recovery Board, worked together to achieve this success.  Great job everyone!

Cinci Job Fair 10022015

Job Fairs Produce Results

As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), in October, OOD hosted four regional job fairs in Cincinnati, Columbus, Maumee and Independence.  These job fairs involved over 150 employers connecting with nearly 900 job ready candidates.  They also featured an educational workshop for employers relevant to recruiting a diverse workforce. 


I am happy to report that these events continue to produce results for both the companies and the job seekers who attended.  To date, we have had 62 individuals with disabilities find integrated community employment (many for the first time), as a direct result of attending a job fair.  Additionally, 86 individuals are now in employed status after having attended a job fair.  Interviews and applications are still ongoing as candidates implement what they have learned from these events.


Thanks again to everyone who made these events a success!  We have already begun building on this success, to have an even greater impact next year.

The Disability Determination Process

Disability Determination Chart

The November 6 edition of the Weekly Focus featured an article highlighting the work of the Division of Disability Determination (DDD).  This division, in agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA), determines medical eligibility for Ohioans who apply for Social Security disability benefits.  This week, I wanted to share some further details about the process of disability determination.


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. An adjudicative team works to make disability determinations for each individual claim.


The Social Security disability programs are medical-legal entities. The disability decision is an administrative decision.  Determinations are made on the basis of functional information, medical evidence, and laboratory findings demonstrated by medically and/or psychologically acceptable clinical methods.


Such findings provide necessary medical evidence in adjudicating the claim. The adjudicative team must make an independent judgment regarding the nature, severity, and duration of all impairments based on evidence submitted by treating sources, hospitals, and consultative examiners on each claim.


Last Federal Fiscal Year (FFY 2015), DDD determined the eligibility for 191,607 Ohioans.  This year (FFY 2016) the division is expected to process 196,152 claims.


For a chart outlining the disability determination process, please click on the above chart or visit our website.

NLS banner

Did You Know? National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Did you know that the Library of Congress offers a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page?  Through a national network of cooperating libraries, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) offers books in braille or audio formats, mailed for free, or instantly downloadable.


For more information please visit the NLS website at http://www.loc.gov/programs/national-library-service-for-the-blind-and-physically-handicapped/.

OOD By the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,701

(For county level information

and map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         2,079

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                           1,391*

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)

*FFY 2016


Disability Determination 

(FFY2016 as of 11/27)


Applications Received:                                               37,527


Determinations:                                                           40,026


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                          385.8

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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