Developmental Disabilities Administration

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Developmental Disabilities Administration

All people with developmental disabilities are included in their communities by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), which builds on their strengths from birth to adulthood. DDA strives to develop and implement public policies that value every citizen as a contributing member of society.

Why Apply for DDA?

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) has many services and programs, including respite, personal care, OT/PT/speech and hearing, home and vehicle modifications, skilled nursing, short-term emergency services, and, for adults, supported employment and in-home support.

Early involvement with DDA can benefit you and your child during different stages of life. After being accepted, your child may be put on a waiting list, so the earlier you apply, the better!

For more information, contact your local DDA office or call DDA Headquarters at 360-407-1500.

Eligibility Criteria

Are you aware that in Washington State, eligibility criteria for The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) are the same for children from birth to age 3? This means if your child is eligible for ESIT, they are likely eligible for DDA. Enrollment is not automatic though, and the state limits whom it will serve after age 3.

To be eligible as a client of DDA, a person must:

  • Be a Washington State resident;
  • Have evidence of a qualifying developmental disability that began before age 18; and
  • Have evidence of substantial limitations.

Qualifying developmental disabilities include autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, chromosomal condition, neurological condition, and developmental delay.

DDA will make an eligibility determination based on the information you include in your child’s eligibility packet. Keep in mind, the supporting documents you include will be the most influential in determining your child’s eligibility. That is to say, include your child’s IEP or 504 plan, results from their recent psychological evaluation, and current medical records. The more supporting documents and records you include, the better!

Note that at age 4, DDA will require a redetermination of eligibility. In other words, you will need to reapply for services before your child’s 4th birthday, but don’t worry, DDA will mail you a reminder 6 months before the expiration date.

Need help completing the eligibility packet? Your assigned Family Resources Coordinator (FRC) can assist you with this! If your child is older than age 3, contact your local DDA office or email SOAR Behavior Services at

Application Process

Once you have determined your child meets the criteria for the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), the next step is completing an eligibility packet. If you are not sure your child meets the criteria, apply anyways!

To print an eligibility packet, visit and select “Eligibility” in the sidebar menu. To have an eligibility packet mailed to you, select “Service & Information Request” in the same menu or call your local DDA office. The required forms include:

After completing the forms and attaching records supporting your child’s diagnosis, drop off or mail the packet to the nearest DDA office. Need help locating the nearest office? Visit Find a DDA Office.

Following the reviewal process, you will receive a Planned Action Notice (PAN) informing you whether your child has been accepted or denied services by DDA. If denied, you can appeal the decision or reapply with additional supporting records.

To request services, you must call the number listed in your letter. When you call, you will be assigned a case manager, and your child will be assessed to determine the best waiver. Before meeting with your case manager, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different waivers. This way, you can ask for a waiver that fits your child’s needs. You know your child best, so don’t be afraid to disagree with your case manager!

Home and Community Based Services

Supports in Washington State are primarily provided through Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) offers five waivers:

The Basic Plus waiver is intended to meet the health and safety needs of individuals in the community. Services are provided in the individual’s home, in an adult family home, or adult residential center. The Basic Plus waiver serves individuals of all ages.

The Children’s Intensive In-Home Behavioral Support (CIIBS) waiver supports youth who may be at risk of being removed from their homes due to challenging behavior. The waiver provides wraparound services and family-centered positive behavior support. Though services are available through age 20, the initial enrollment age is between 8 and 17 years old.

The Community Protection (CP) waiver offers residential support for individuals assessed as needing 24-hour staff supervision to ensure others’ safety. Participants voluntarily agree to follow the CP guidelines. Must be age 18 or older.

The Core waiver offers residential options to individuals at immediate risk of institutional placement or who have health or welfare needs not covered by the Basic Plus waiver. The Core waiver serves individuals of all ages.

Waiver services for Individual and Family Services (IFS) allow individuals who require waiver services to remain in the family home, up to the amount of the annual allocation, which is determined by the DDA assessment. Must be age 3 or older.


Additional Resources

Applying for DDA Services in Washington State

DDA Services

Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS)


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