HELPLINE NUMBER: (443) 330-5341

PFA Tips: DDA – Understanding the Determination Process

By Pathfinders for Autism, Reviewed by Disability Rights Maryland

Download a printable version of “DDA- Understanding the Determination Process”

There is a great demand for funding for services from the DDA. The DDA currently is unable to meet all the requests so it established a Waiting List. The Waiting List is prioritized so that people with the greatest need are helped first. The DDA follows regulations to determine eligibility, priority category, and placement on the Waiting List.

Determination Types
There are three types of determination responses:

• Developmental Disability (DD)
• Supports Only (SO)
• Not Eligible (NE)

The determination is based on a functional
assessment and diagnosis documentation.

Developmental Disability (DD)
A developmental disability determination (DD) means that the individual has a developmental disability and is eligible for DDA Waiver services.

DD Eligible: Priority Classification
Once an individual is deemed ‘DD eligible’, they are assigned a priority classification. The priority classification further defines when funding may be made available to meet an individual’s particular need:

• Crisis Resolution – homeless/in danger (need imminent, 6 months or less).
• Crisis Prevention – homeless/in danger (need imminent, 1 year or less).
• Current Request – determined DD (need less than 3 years).
• Future Need – determined DD (need greater than 3 years).
• Transitioning Youth – an individual is eligible to receive DDA services from his or her 21st
to 22nd birthday, or one year from the date of graduation, whichever is later.

Supports Only (SO)
Supports Only (SO) determination means that the individual does not meet all of the statutory criteria and will not be eligible for Waiver services. The individual must ask DDA for a re-determination and must provide new documentation to support a change in eligibility.

Not Eligible (NE)
Not eligible (NE) means that the individual does not meet any of the statutory criteria for DD eligibility.

Other Determination Considerations
• To have a developmental disability, your severe chronic disability must appear before age 22.
• People who are older than age 22 must show their severe chronic disability was evident before age 22. DDA will require evidence such as witness statements, school, psychological, or medical reports about a person’s functional limitations prior to age 22.

When should someone apply for DDA services?
Anyone can apply at any time; however, DDA is cautious in making formal determinations for young children. If you believe your child has a developmental disability and DDA did not agree, be sure to request a reconsideration around age 14 or at any time your child is in crisis. You may call the Maryland Disability Law Center (MDLC) for advice on eligibility issues.

What are Waiver services?
The following services are provided under the Community Pathways Waiver:

• Assistive Technology and Adaptive Equipment
• Behavioral Supports
• Community Learning Services
• Community Residential Habilitation Services
• Day Habilitation – Traditional
• Employment Discovery and Customization
• Environmental Accessibility Adaptations
• Environmental Assessment
• Family and Individual Support Services
• Live-In Caregiver Rent
• Medical Day Care
• Personal Supports
• Respite
• Shared Living
• Support Brokerage
• Supported Employment
• Transition Services
• Transportation
• Vehicle Modifications

Additional information and specific service requirements can be reviewed within the Community Pathway’s federally approved waiver application, Community Pathways regulations (COMAR 10.09.26), and the DDA regulations (COMAR 10.22). A brief description of the services, who can provide the service, whether they can be self-directed, and any limitations are noted in the Community Pathway’s federally approved waiver.

Additional Resources

DDA Homepage

DDA Application for Eligibility

Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) (Formerly Maryland Disability Law Center)

DDA Eligibility and Priority: Statutory Rule



contact us today to get involved