NADE is a professional organization for analysts, medical consultants, support staff, hearings officers, field office representatives, administrators, and managers involved in disability determination. Retirees are also welcome!

Our aims are to develop the art and science of disability evaluation, to enhance public awareness about the work we do, and further recognition for disability professionals.

NADE provides training and networking opportunities beyond those available in your local office. NADE even offers a certification program!


  • NADE training conferences
  • NADE Advocate
  • Regular communication from NADE leadership to keep members informed
  • NADE website – nade.org
  • If not NADE, who else will serve as an advocate for disability employees serving on the front line?
  • Regular meetings between NADE and congressional officials to communicate this perspective
  • NADE is invited as an expert witness for congressional hearings on disability issues
  • Regular meetings between NADE and SSA’s political leadership and policy makers, and between NADE and other governmental agencies (GAO, OMB, etc.) to publicize the real issues of those who do the work of adjudicating disability claims and serving the public
  • Friends!
  • Sharing best practices and common concerns with others who do the same work as you
  • Opportunities to make a difference by working with others from across the country
  • Respect from your peers
  • Local, Regional, and National recognition for outstanding leadership
  • Local, Regional, and National recognition for outstanding work and dedicated service
  • Professional certification
  • Your work is more than a job – it is a career
  • Through NADE, you can effectuate positive changes that determine how you will do your work
  • Through NADE, you can effectuate positive changes in yourself as a person and as a professional
  • Opportunities for leadership and active participation allow you, as a member, to explore the limits of your interest in involvement

NADE Mentoring Program

Learn more about NADE's mentoring program.

NADE Brochure

Download our brochure for more information and a membership application.


NADE speaks for those who are on the “front-lines” of the disability program.

NADE continues to live up to its original mission working as a grass-roots organization to represent the interests of its members. NADE is truly an independent professional association. NADE is not influenced by political parties or other entities or take money from other organizations. NADE’s membership dues comprise ninety percent of the Association’s revenue.

NADE is your professional organization and it is the only organization that can truly represent the disability professional or support professional in Baltimore and Washington D.C. where the decisions are made that determine how you do your job in the DDS.

NADE is your voice – the voice that expresses the “front-line worker” in the DDS perspective in ongoing policy discussions and in testimony before Congress.

That voice is important. No one else can speak for the people who do the work that so many are trying so hard to change.

What will you get from becoming a member if you are not already one?

You will receive four issues of the NADE Advocate per year. This is the Association’s bimonthly professional publication and contains news of ongoing developments at SSA and in the medical profession, news about the organization and its members, and news about what we can expect in the future.

You will be afforded opportunities for leadership. NADE is a member led organization whose leaders at the state, regional and national levels are your co-workers. NADE’s leaders know exactly what it takes to do your job because they, too, do your job and know the impact of new developments and changes on how that job is done.

You will be afforded opportunities for training and learning. The very fact that you are here demonstrates your interest in on-going training and learning. And as you can see from the agenda, NADE training is aimed directly at what you do (and we try to throw some fun into it too!) You will have the opportunity to ask questions from top medical and policy speakers speaking directly to you. NADE’s training conferences are specifically designed for the disability professionals and support professionals like you who render critical decisions on disability on a daily basis.

You may have opportunities for career advancement. NADE membership will not automatically enhance your opportunities for promotion unless you take advantage of seizing those opportunities. However, NADE offers you valuable knowledge and skills that will make you a much more viable employee to your employer or to another employer across the country, because as NADE members, you will learn about employment opportunities in other locations.

You will have opportunities to work with other people to effectuate positive change. This is probably one of the most satisfying aspects of NADE membership – the ability to be able to look back and say, “Yes, I helped change the system.” NADE members are working every day to help design a better system, to look at more effective and more efficient ways of doing business and to make a positive difference in their lives of our members and in the lives of other people. NADE members also work hard at community service projects that help people and NADE members are dedicated to the best possible customer service that can be provided.

NADE offers you the opportunity for professional certification. NADE is the only certifying professional association for disability professionals, disability support professionals, and disability medical consultants in the DDSs. NADE offers this certification as a service to its current NADE members, as well as recertification after three years, upon completion of the necessary requirements. You can be proud as a NADE member of your professional standing knowing that you have surpassed the minimum certification requirements.

NADE is a professional association known by Congress, SSA and other government agencies for its expertise and credibility. NADE is consulted by the congressional committees and subcommittees that oversee the Social Security Administration. NADE’s advice and counsel was sought by President Bush about our issues and concerns in his choice for a new SSA Commissioner. NADE played a prominent role in the confirmation hearings for the Inspector General of SSA. NADE has assisted Congress in writing legislation that impacts on the disability program and we are invited on a regular basis to provide expert testimony at congressional hearings on issues affecting the Social Security disability program. NADE was invited to a briefing by the Commissioner of Social Security to discuss her proposal for a new disability case process and will be meeting with her individually later this month to discuss NADE’s reaction to the proposal, to obtain further details about the proposal and to discuss NADE’s issues and concerns about the proposed new disability case process.

NADE offers a variety of professional awards that recognize the many contributions and outstanding achievements of its members. These awards are presented annually at regional and national conferences and serve as a symbol for the vital and critical service that NADE members perform for the American public.

There are many intangible benefits for NADE members with perhaps the best of these being the new friends you will gain all across the country and even in your own agency. NADE membership offers opportunities to work together with people in your own agency and across the nation. Being here at this training conference offers opportunities for you to meet other people from across the country and make new friends.

If you are not currently a member of NADE, I urge you to join us. Your membership in NADE is important because each new member increases the visibility and the effectiveness of NADE to advocate on your behalf. And with major changes on the horizon, this is becoming increasingly more important every day. NADE membership ensures you that there is someone who can speak on your behalf! The future is now and NADE must provide a strong positive voice to impact on that future.

From the beginning, NADE’s mission was clear and it is to this day as stated in NADE’s constitution:

  • To foster, promote and participate in activities designed to increase the understanding of the disability programs by the medical community and the general public;
  • To improve the documentation of applications for disability benefits and the evaluation of medical and vocational information obtained in connection with such applications;
  • To provide a forum for the discussion of problems related to the adjudication of disability claims;
  • To develop professional standards and training opportunities for all individuals engaged in the adjudication of disability claims.
NADE accomplishes its mission in several ways.

  • NADE monitors new developments and technologies in disability evaluation and provides input on how to improve disability case processing;
  • NADE monitors legislation, Congressional hearings and other reports such as those issued by the General Accounting Office and the Social Security Advisory Board;
  • NADE provides oral and written testimony to Congress and communicates with various Congressional committees and subcommittees involved with the Social Security program;
  • NADE stays in contact with and provides oral and written communications to the General Accounting office, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Research Council, the Social Security Advisory Board, the Association of Administrative Law Judges, the National Council for Social Security Managers and other interested partners in the Social Security disability program;
  • NADE reviews regulations and proposed rulings and provides input to Social Security Administration and other agencies proposing rules impacting on the disability program;
  • NADE publishes the NADE Advocate to keep members informed on issues;
  • NADE administers a certification program designed to strengthen professional standing;
  • NADE conducts state, regional and national training conferences designed to provide advanced professional education and to bring together people with common interests;
  • NADE supports local chapters in their activities to promote the art and science of disability evaluation;
  • NADE reaches out to other interested disability organizations to pursue areas of mutual interests, and has recently been contacted by the National Association of Disability Representatives and the American Association for Retired Persons to provide information about the disability program from the “front lines.”
NADE is governed by a Board of Directors composed of:

  • the officers of the Association  – which consist of the President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer – who are elected by the membership at large
  • the Immediate Past President
  • seven regional directors elected by the seven geographic regions respectively
  • the Council of Chapter Presidents Chair, who is elected by the members of the Council of Chapter Presidents, and
  • the Membership Director and the Communications Director, the Constitution and By-Laws Chair, DDS Administrators/SSA Liaison and the Legislative Director  who are appointed by the President with Board approval.
No, from its inception all individuals involved with the adjudication of Social Security disability claims have been welcome to join NADE. NADE’s current membership consists of disability examiners in DDS agencies, DDS administrators, disability supervisors and line workers, medical consultants and support professional, as well as others interested in improving the disability claims process, such as members from Social Security Field Offices, SSA Headquarters, OHA offices and advocates and other individuals in the private sector.
The NADE Advocate. The NADE Advocate is published four times a year and contains a wealth of information about NADE activities as well as informative and professional articles about current updates in medicine and treatment.  Additional information about NADE’s positions on various issues, congressional testimony and other communications, including the current and past issues of The Advocate, can be found on NADE’s website.