Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Eligibility and Applying for Services


The Eligibility Review process is the gateway to OPWDD services in New York State. An individual who has a developmental disability and lives in New York State can request a basic eligibility review by: calling an OPWDD office directly; asking a local government agency to assist them in accessing OPWDD-funded services; or having a voluntary agency make a request on their behalf. Before receiving Medicaid-funded services through OPWDD , an individual must arrange to have a review of the necessary records that contain evidence of a qualifying developmental disability. *

The eligibility review process begins at one of OPWDD’s five Developmental Disability Regional Offices (DDROs) that are located throughout New York State. Each DDRO provides services to a specific county or group of counties. The materials and records that are submitted to the DDRO include reports of assessments prepared by qualified practitioners that support a qualifying diagnosis of “developmental disability.” Depending on the complexity of an individual's condition, the review process for obtaining an eligibility determination may require reports from multiple or specialty assessments. A face-to-face interview may also be part of this process.

For information on eligibility and applying for services, please contact the Eligibility Coordinator for the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office that covers the county where the individual lives. 

For information on assessment services in your area, please see Finding Testing/Assessment Services.

For information on voluntary providers in your area, please see the Provider Directory on the Individuals and Families tab on OPWDD’s home page


*As defined in Mental Hygiene Law 1.03(22)