Independence within the Colorado Department of Human Services has named Thomas Haro as the new director of the Division of Disability Determination Services (DDS). He has served as acting director since January 2017.
Prior to assuming the role of acting director, Haro had served as deputy director of support services for DDS since June 2013. In his role as deputy director, he worked with the leadership team to implement efficiencies, cost-saving methods and partnerships to improve key agency metrics by 50 percent. He was part of a four-person leadership team that won the coveted Commissioner Citation Team Award, the highest award available from the commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
"I am excited to appoint Thomas Haro to the position of division director of Disability Determination Services,” said Mark Wester, director of the Office of Community Access and Independence. “Thomas has demonstrated strong leadership with his team, and at the state and national level. As he steps into the division director position, he will lead his team to continue its focus on effectively serving the people of Colorado."
As director, Haro will have direct oversight of the DDS Division, which, in partnership with the Social Security Administration, makes the medical determination for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. This division employs 50 disability examiners, 25 physicians and 40 administrative and clerical staff. The division handles more than 40,000 disability claims per year. The mission statement of DDS is to make accurate and timely disability decisions for the residents of Colorado in a courteous, cost-conscious manner following Social Security disability rules and regulations.
“My vision is to lead DDS to greatness with innovative leadership, a shared spirit of performance management, teamwork and accountability to the citizens we serve,” Haro said.