Apply for Services

  1. The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is working to make it easier for individuals and families to apply for adult services. We are writing with some updates on this work.
  2. We have updated our eligibility and application materials to simplify and more clearly explain our eligibility criteria, our application requirements, and the next steps you need to take after applying. Everything you need to apply for services is now in one application.

    We have combined the:

      • Current Application and
      • Functional Information Form

    We have also:

      • Included and expanded the application instructions
      • Added a checklist of needed documents
      • Changed the formatting to make the application easier to read and follow
      • Included needed signatures/releases
      • Posted the updated application below

    If you have any recommendations on how to improve the updated application materials, please submit your ideas to

  1. BHDDH is launching an “Eligibility Determination by 17” Policy that establishes a referral process at age 16 with eligibility determination by age 17. Our goal is that individuals with disabilities enrolled in Rhode Island schools will be identified as eligible for adult services before their exit from school or transition programs. School districts will be guided to inform families that they have a right to file an application for BHDDH adult services at the age of 16 for youth who are categorized under IDEA as having an intellectual disability, autism, or multiple disabilities, or are believed to have a developmental disability and be eligible for BHDDH services. It is solely the family’s decision whether to submit an application for services at this age.
  2. The policy of determining students eligible by 17 is to make sure students are receiving the right transition services at the right time. By determining eligibility at 17 it provides the schools, Office Rehabilitative Services (ORS) and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) information on who will be eligible to receive certain services. School districts work with ORS to provide students with job skills, development and training, and then ORS and DDD will work to together to further enhance job skills and assist in finding employment or help with job retention. As an Employment First state we emphasize building employment skills for the youth who will be entering the adult Developmental Disabilities system.


    • Who should submit an eligibility application?
        • Students who are age 16 or older should submit an eligibility application if they meet the criteria outlined in the eligibility packet.
    • When should individuals/families apply?
        • Families are encouraged to apply 60 days before their son or daughter turns 17 years old, although individuals may apply at any time after age 16.
    • Is submitting an application before the age of 17 mandatory?
        • No. This is entirely up to the family and individual. This policy is meant to create a smoother transition experience from schools to adult services for those found eligible.
    • What happens after a completed application is submitted?
        • Once a complete application is submitted with all needed documentation, staff at the Division will send an acknowledgement letter that the application has been received. (Only completed applications can be processed). The application will then be processed and a determination will be made in 30 days.
    • What happens after determination?
        • After an eligibility determination has been made a letter will go out to the family and in some cases the school, if a teacher assisted in filling out the application. The State Transition Coordinator will then be assigned the case to monitor until the student school exit year. At this time a social caseworker will be assigned and meet with the student, the family and the school prior to their transition from the school system to the adult system.


    1. Updated Application is here

    2. The applicant must submit records that document their developmental
      This documentation should when possible include:
      • Cognitive testing (available through the schools w/in 7 yrs of last attendance or private testing through medical coverage)
      • Official diagnosis by medical doctor, psychologist, or licensed clinician – all available diagnosis should be submitted
      • Vocational records through school and ORS
      • Medical records documenting any medical disability and limitations
      • Any other agency records that document the applicant's abilities and limitations
      • *Often multiple eval and diagnosis are available. Please submit all available records
    3. A copy of the applicant's birth certificate or I-94 form
    4. A copy of the applicant's social security card
    5. If applicable, a copy of the Probate court's order of appointment of the
      applicant's guardian
    1. If you have any questions while completing these forms, please call the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) at 401-462-3421 and ask to speak with an eligibility caseworker.
    1. Completed applications and all other information should be
    2. Mailed to:
      Simpson Hall – Eligibility Unit
      6 Harrington Rd,
      Cranston, RI 02920
    1. Espanol:
    1. Portugues:
  1. Verification of Receipt of Application

    BHDDH will send verification when the application and functional information report are received. If the applicant indicates on the application that all records have been sent, the file will then be scheduled for review by the Eligibility Committee. If the applicant indicates that they need additional time to obtain records, the file will be placed in a pending status until all records have been received, and will then be reviewed by the Eligibility Committee. If you need assistance with this process, please call 462-3421 and ask to speak to a covering eligibility worker.

  1. Eligibility Determination

    Once DDD receives a completed application, with evaluations, medical information, school records and other relevant information a personal interview with the applicant may be requested. Eligibility cannot be determined until all of the necessary information and records have been received by DDD and a personal interview, if necessary, has been conducted. All of the information will be presented to the DDD Eligibility Committee. Using the statutory and regulation criteria, the Eligibility Committee will decide whether the person is eligible for DDD services. If the Eligibility Committee finds that an applicant is eligible for DDD services, a notice of the determination will be sent to the applicant, the applicant's legal guardian or relative and when appropriate, the agency, advocate or professional who referred the applicant. If an applicant is ineligible for DDD services, a notice of the determination will be sent to the applicant, the applicant's legal guardian or relative, and when appropriate, the agency, advocate or professional who referred the applicant. The notice shall include the reasons for the Eligibility Committee's decision and an explanation of the applicant's appeal rights.

    Submit an Application for Services if:

      • A student has an identified diagnosis of an Intellectual Developmental Disability; or
      • A student has "Substantial functional limitation" which means the applicant performs substantially below the level expected for a student with respect to the skills necessary in three or more of the following areas:
      • “Substantial functional limitation in economic self-sufficiency" which means a student requires on-going supervision or frequent assistance and extensive training to perform the tasks required for a job, or to be able to work and maintain his/her employment as a result of his/her disability and not as a result of economic conditions or life style choice.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in expressive and receptive language" which means a student needs another person or alternative method to express or understand needs and wants or to effectively communicate with others or the individual is unable to understand/comprehend language or other forms of communication.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in independent living" which means a student needs ongoing assistance or frequent supervision to manage health care needs, to use community resources, to manage money, to perform routine housekeeping, or to maintain personal safety.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in learning" which means a student has tested two standard deviations below the mean on a comprehensive individual intelligence test or has had a comparable performance in two or more specific intellectual areas, such as memory, computation, reading/writing and perception or that the person demonstrates the need for ongoing assistance or frequent supervision to use information or skills in different or new situations.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in mobility" which means a student needs the ongoing physical assistance of another person to move from place to place or needs the use of an extraordinary assistive device to move from place to place.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in self-care" which means a student needs on-going physical assistance, extensive training and/or frequent supervision in taking care of personal needs such as eating, personal hygiene and dressing.
      • "Substantial functional limitation in self-direction" which means a student requires ongoing assistance or frequent supervision in making decisions about social activities, personal finances, planning and setting goals, protecting one’s interests, establishing and asserting one’s rights and maintaining social relationships and resolving problems in daily living.