Apply for Services

When can I receive services?

Division services are available to individuals who are age 21 or older and meet all other eligibility requirements.

Individuals receiving services through school are able to continue doing so through age 21. If you choose to graduate or leave school between the ages of 18 and 21, it is critical to discuss service options with your school’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team and transition coordinator.

Individuals 18-21 years of age who have met eligibility requirements can receive services through the NJ Children's System of Care, within the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

When can I find out if I am eligible to receive services?

Although Division services do not begin until age 21, individuals can be evaluated for eligibility as early as age 18.

Some people prefer to apply as soon as they are 18, so that they can know well before they turn 21 whether they are eligible for Division services. Some people prefer to wait to apply until they are 19 or 20, since services are not actually available until age 21 or older.

How will my eligibility for services be evaluated?

To find out if you are eligible for services you will need to submit an Application for Determination of Eligibility and supporting documentation to the Division for review. This includes documentation that you:

  • Meet the functional criteria for a developmental disability;
  • Are a legal U.S. citizen and resident of New Jersey; and
  • Are eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid.

To meet the functional criteria for a developmental disability, you must provide documentation that you have a chronic physical and/or intellectual disability that began before you were 22 years old, is expected to be lifelong, and limits your ability to care for yourself and live on your own. Meeting the last standard requires showing that you have a substantial functional limitation in three or more of the following areas: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please see Division Circular 3 or NJSA 30:6D-25(b) and NJAC 10:46.

How do I apply for services or for an eligibility determination?

To be evaluated for elgibility for DDD-funded services, complete either the FULL or SHORT Application for Determination of Eligibility.

You must use the FULL Application for Determination of Eligibility if either:

  1. You did not apply before for developmental disability services from either the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities or the NJ Children’s System of Care (PerformCare), OR
  2. You received a service through the NJ Children’s System of Care (PerformCare) but never completed PerformCare’s Application for Determination of Eligibility for Children Under Age 18.

You may use the SHORT Application for Determination of Eligibility if either:

  1. You applied before for developmental disability services through the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and were notified by DDD that you were eligible, OR
  2. You applied before for developmental disability services through the NJ Children’s System of Care (PerformCare) and were notified by PerformCare that you were eligible.

The completed Application for Determination of Eligibility, including all signed forms and supporting documentation, can be submitted in person, by mail, or by email.

Submit Application In Person or By Mail
Hand-deliver or mail the application and copies of all supporting documents to DDD Intake at the Community Services Office for the individual's county of residence. (For in-person submission during the COVID-19 public health emergency, please call the office first to determine if staff will be on site.)
 
Submit Application By Email
  • Scan the completed, signed application and all supporting documents and submit as an attachment to DDD.NJApply@dhs.nj.gov.
  • Please include the following in the email subject line: Intake Application - Individual's Initials - County of Residence (SAMPLE: Intake Application JS Mercer County) 
A family member or other interested person can assist an individual in completing DDD's Application for Eligibility, but cannot apply on the individual's behalf.

Once the Division receives your completed application and documentation, it can take up to 60 days for the Division to notify you about your eligibility for services. If your application is incomplete and/or missing any of the required documentation, it can take longer.

Please see DDD's Notice of Non-Discrimination and Language Assistance Services for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency.

What if I need help applying for services?

If you need help applying for services, please call or visit the Division Community Services Office that serves the county you live in and ask to talk with an Intake Worker.

If you need assistance in a language other than English, please review the Division’s Language Assistance Services for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency.