8004 Franklin Farms Drive
Richmond, VA 23229
Jacqueline Russell - N. Carolina
Staci Cain - Kentucky
Liz McLaren - Iowa
Region I (Boston)
Trudy Lyon-Hart, VT
Region II (New York)
Caroline Stout, NJ
Region III (Philadelphia)
Ian Harlow, PA
Region IV (Atlanta)
Brian Garber, FL
Region V (Chicago)
Frank Gilbertson, MN
Region VI (Dallas)
Chris Kirby, LA
Region VII (Kansas City)
Jeff Ripley, MO
Region VIII (Denver)
Jeff Graham, WY
Region IX (San Francisco)
John DeMaria, AZ
Region X (Seattle)
Patty Trott, AK
The mission of the NCDDD is to provide the highest possible level of service to persons with disabilities, to promote the interests of the state operated Disability Determination Services and to represent DDS Directors, their management teams and staffs.
The NCDDD provides leadership in accomplishing the mission by:
Establishing effective, timely and meaningful dialogue between NCDDD and SSA;
Working cooperatively with the Congress, the Administration, The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), National Association of Disability Examiners (NADE), National Council of Social Security Managers Association (NCSSMA), and other organizations interested in protecting the rights of the disabled.
Encouraging the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the disability program.
Fostering the highest standards of professionalism.
Our Programs and Administration
DDSs work with SSA in administering two disability programs which have the same medical/vocational criteria for determining eligibility for benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible individuals who cannot work due to a serious physical or mental disability. The SSDI program provides disability benefits to insured individuals who become unable to work because of illness or injury which is expected to last at least 12 continuous months or which may be expected to result in death. Nationwide, over 6.9 million people receive $59.6 billion in yearly disability SSDI payments from SSA trust funds.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program that provides coverage for adults and children in households whose income and resources are below a certain level. There is no requirement for prior employment. Applicants for SSI must meet the same definition of disability described above. Eligible children under age 18 are considered disabled if they are unable to function in a manner similar to children of the same age group. There are more than 5.1 million disabled SSI recipients receiving approximately $23.7 billion per year in benefits from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.
While promoting the interests of the state DDS’s and providing the highest possible level of service to the disabled, we are also working cooperatively with Congress and professional organizations interested in protecting the rights of the disabled.
As administrators who run the disability programs for SSA on a day-to-day basis, we have the capacity to provide what we believe to be invaluable insights on the effective operation of those programs and their continuing challenges. Given our role in the federal-state partnership, and with concern for the most efficient public service possible, we are constitutionally committed to the following purposes:
To give meaning and effectiveness to the concepts of consultation and partnership between the State Disability Determination Services (DDS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) through establishing effective, timely and meaningful dialogue between the Council and SSA.
To cooperate constructively with SSA to encourage the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the disability program.
Leon A. Scales is the Virginia Disability Determination Services (DDS) Director. The Virginia DDS is a division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). The DDS division has approximately 500 staff, responsible for accurate and timely medical determinations for Social Security and Medicaid disability applicants.
Mr. Scales has held the position of DDS Director for approximately 10 years; he was previously the VA DDS Deputy Director - Operations. All of his 24 years work experience has been with the VA DDS, in multiple capacities. Mr. Scales has a well-rounded organizational background with experience as a disability examiner, lead worker, office/operations manager, LAN coordinator, budget/administrative manager, business process specialist, director of operations, and currently division director.
Leon Scales received his BA in History and MPA in Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech), and he is a graduate of the Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Institute. Mr. Scales has earned recognition and many awards for his contributions to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Social Security disability program. Honors include multiple SSA Regional and SSA Associate Commissioners Citations, SSA Deputy Commissioner Operations Leadership Award, and the VA DDS was the 2016 recipient of the SSA Associate Commissioner Phoenix Award. Mr. Scales is currently the Philadelphia Region Administrator Representative for the National Disability Interest Group (NDIG), a member of Nation Association of Disability Examiners (NADE), and President of National Council of Disability Determination Directors (NCDDD).
Leon is a Virginia native and a current resident of Salem, VA where he resides with his wife Nancy, daughters Taylor (18) and Kennedy (16), and son Leon, Jr/LJ (14). Mr. Scales enjoys spending time with his family, and invests many hours watching, participating, and/or attending a variety of sporting events. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and active in the community, spending numerous hours coaching and/or officiating youth football, basketball, and softball.
The President of NCDDD is the principal officer, leading the organization in operations and by representing the members.
It is a four year commitment, as they first serve two years as President-Elect. We have a long tenure of distinguished and talented DDS Administrators who have served in this demanding position. This is our thank you to them for serving us with integrity and effectuating positive change for the disability program and claimants.
Below is a list of our past presidents in reverse order:
Stan Kress, ID
Jerry Thomas, GA
Chuck Jones, MI
Doug Willman, NE
Mike Brennan, DC
Tommy Warren, AL
Linda Dorn, MI
Sheila Everett, MS
Andy Marioni, DE
Kay Hoffpauir, LA
Robbie Watts, VA
Vicki Johnson, CO
Trudy Lyon-Hart, VT
Erik Williamson, OH
Sheri Seil, ND
Liz McLaren, IA