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Developmental Disabilities Administration: How to Apply


Application Process

Developmental Disabilities Administration Website

  1. Call the DDA office for the Region (Central, Western, Southern, or Eastern) in which you live. Request a copy of the application for services.
  2. When you receive your application, make several copies in case you want to change information or use a rough draft for practice.
  3. Fill out the application. Be sure to include all the information you feel DDA needs to know in order to serve you (or the person for whom you are applying) appropriately. Include copies of all requested forms or evaluations, and include others which you feel may be helpful. You may want to include a current psychological evaluation, recent physical examination, the current or most recent Individualized Education Plan, Vocational Evaluation, and other important paperwork.
  4. Do not send your only copy. Keep at least one copy of the complete packet.
  5. When completing the application, present a realistic picture of your challenges and skills, or the challenges and skills of the person for whom you are completing the application. Be certain that you communicate the reasons you need services.
  6. Services applied for include Residential, Vocational/Day, and Individual and Family Supports (F/ISS). You may apply for one or more of these services. Definitions of each are listed in the Guide Glossary. You may receive a different level of eligibility determination for each of the services for which you apply. For example, you may receive a determination of high priority for funding for F/ISS, but have to wait a while longer before you are able to receive funding for Vocational Services.
  7. If you have any questions while you complete the application, please call your Regional DDA office or the Resource Coordination office for your county.
  8. Submit your application to the DDA Regional Office.
  9. You will receive a letter from the DDA confirming receipt of your application. This letter does not offer a decision about the application.
  10. The Administration will assign a representative to conduct a personal interview with you and ask questions about your application. This representative may be an employee of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, or a Resource Coordinator. Resource Coordinators do not work directly for DDA, but do work closely with DDA. DDA has contracts with different agencies to provide resource coordination to particular counties or regions of the State.
  11. During your interview, emphasize again your needs and challenges. Present copies of any new relevant paperwork, and discuss any new information that may affect your application.
  12. The DDA representative will make a recommendation about your application. The representative will recommend (a) whether or not the applicant is eligible for services, (b) which services the applicant is eligible for, and the priority recommended for funding for each service, provided funds are available.
  13. DDA reviews the recommendations and application. A decision is made regarding the eligibility for services described in 12, above. This decision is forwarded to the DDA representative in a letter.
  14. If the decision regarding your application or eligibility is not what you wanted or expected, you may file an appeal. The DDA representative can help you with this process.
  15. If the decision is that you (or the person for whom you are applying) are eligible for DDA funding, you should meet with your Resource Coordinator (who should be assigned to you by this point) and develop a plan of support. Support plans, which may also be called Individual Plans, Person Centered Plans, or Essential Lifestyle Plans, give a general picture of the services you seek and should identify lifestyle choices, preferences, and needs of the person with a disability. Use this guide to identify agencies that provide the services identified in the Support Plan.
  16. If your Resource Coordinator indicates that you are a priority for services through DDA, you should begin your search for provider agencies. Request information from those agencies, and schedule visits with those in which you are most interested. Give agencies copies of your Support Plan and ask them how they would provide services around the expectations of the plan. Do not be afraid to ask questions. This is a very important decision. You may want to speak with individuals served by the agency, or with their families, regarding services provided.
  17. Once you have selected your top candidate in one or more areas of service, you may be asked to complete an agency application for services. The agency will then submit a formal proposal to your Resource Coordinator and/or the Regional Office. The proposal includes a service design and associated costs. If the proposal is acceptable to you and your Resource Coordinator, then your Resource Coordinator will work with DDA to secure funding for the proposal. In some situations, you may be asked to select another agency.
  18. DDA wants this process to work well for you. Please ask for assistance or raise questions along the way.



An individual is eligible for a full range of services if he/she has a severe chronic disability that:

  • Is attributed to a physical or mental impairment, other than the sole diagnosis of mental illness, or to a combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • Is manifested before the individual attains the age of 22;
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • Results in the inability to live independently without external support or continuing and regular assistance;
  • Reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services that are planned and coordinated for that individual.

An individual is eligible only for support services if he/she has a severe chronic disability that:

  • Is attributed to physical or mental impairment, other than the sole diagnosis of mental illness, or to a combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely.

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