Eligibility and Application

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is responsible for planning, funding and overseeing a community system of services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities. We believe that all Rhode Islanders deserve to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Our work supports efforts across the state to expand opportunity and provide high-quality services for all Rhode Islanders.

Criteria to Receive DD-BHDDH-funded Services

There are 2 requirements to receive BHDDH-funded services. You must:

  • Be found eligible for DD-BHDDH services by meeting the eligibility criteria below.
  • Be found eligible for Medicaid either through SSI or the Department of Human Services.

It is necessary to be found both clinically and financially (Medicaid) eligible BEFORE services can begin.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for supports funded through the Division of Developmental Disabilities, individuals must meet the following definition of developmental disability, as stated in RI State Law: § 40.1-21-4.3

The term "Developmentally disabled adult" means a person, eighteen (18) years old or older and not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children, Youth and Families who is either an intellectually/ developmentally disabled adult or is a person with a severe, chronic disability that:

  • Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • Is manifested before the person attains age twenty-two (22);
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • Results in substantial functional limitations in three (3) or more of the following areas of major life activity:
    • Self-care;
    • Receptive and expressive language;
    • Learning;
    • Mobility;
    • Self-direction;
    • Capacity for independent living;
    • Economic self-sufficiency; and
    • Reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated. For purposes of funding, it is understood that students enrolled in school will continue to receive education from their local education authority in accordance with § 16-24-1 et seq.

 Additional information on substantial functional limitations can be found here.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed application: 
  • Official DSM Diagnosis by doctor, psychologist, or licensed clinician, such as Down Syndrome, Autism, Intellectual Disability (please submit all diagnosis)
  • Intelligence/Cognitive tests (psychological or neuropsychological evaluations) with IQ scores, at high school/transition age (preferably prior to age 22)
  • Vocational records through school or ORS, when available
  • Medical records documenting any medical disability and limitations only, if applicable.
  • Any other agency records that document the applicant’s abilities and limitations
  • Copies of birth certificate or I-94 form, Social Security card, Medicaid and other health insurance cards.
  • If applicable, a copy of the Probate court’s Appointment of Guardianship or Power of Attorney paperwork.

If you have any questions, please call the Division of Developmental Disabilities at 462-3421 and ask to speak with someone in the Eligibility Unit.

Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) at (401) 270-0101 can assist in completing the application.

Completed applications should be mailed to: 

Simpson Hall – Eligibility Unit
6 Harrington Rd
Cranston, RI 02920

Once received, all applicants will be sent a letter indicating either the application packet is complete or specific information is still needed. The chart below shows the process.

If you are under the age of 21, visit the Transition to Adult Services page for additional information.

Application Process for Developmental Disabilities (DD) Services