Developmental Disabilities Eligibility

Disabilities Assistance
Developmental Disabilities

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    To receive developmental disabilities services on a Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver, you must submit an application.

    Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible, you must have a developmental disability, as defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §83-1205:

    • Have a developmental disability diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or a medical doctor
    • AND substantial limitations in each of the 3 areas:
      • Conceptual skills, such as language, reading, money, time, number concepts, and self-direction;
      • Social skills, such as interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, wariness, social problem solving, and the ability to follow laws and rules and to avoid being victimized; and
      • Practical skills, such as activities of daily living, personal care, job skills, healthcare, mobility, and the capacity for independent living.

    For more information on eligibility:

    Brochure on DD Services Eligibility (En Español) - Eligibility requirements and how to get started.

    Tips for Teachers (en Español) - Information for teachers about DD eligibility, services, funding, resources for students and a timeline.

    What do I Need to Know About Medicaid? (En Español) - Information for applicants and participants about Medicaid.

    Completing an Application

    ACCESSNebraska is the best way to apply. It has an online application. Applying for Developmental Disabilities Services gives step by step instructions to complete the application.

    For a paper application:

    • You can print in English or en Español, or call our toll-free number (877) 667-6266 to request one be mailed to you. You also need to complete a release of information.
    • Fill out the application completely, print, sign, and submit:

    If you need assistance to fill out an application, you may visit your local DHHS office.

    An application for developmental disabilities services is different from an application for Medicaid, Social Security, Economic Assistance, or Behavioral Health Services. These are separate applications, which you may need to do.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

    Eligibility Determination

    You should get a call a few days after submitting your application. DHHS-DD will collect needed documents, which may include:

    When an application and documents are received, a decision is usually made within 30 days.  You will receive a notice of decision that you are eligible or not eligible.

    • Being eligible does not mean you will receive services right away. There is limited funding available.
    • Once eligible, a level of care assessment is completed.
    • After the level of care is determined, if you have Medicaid or are a Medicaid-eligible child, you are placed on the wait list.
      • The wait list is ordered by date of application.
      • Services are offered to people on the wait list when funding is available. 
    • Eligibility is reviewed at age 9 and age 18.
    • If Social Security determines that you are not disabled, developmental disabilities eligibility will be reviewed.

    Notice of Decision

    If you applied and received a notice of decision, find out what's next:

    I was determined Eligible

    I was determined Not Eligible

    If you have questions about developmental disabilities eligibility or application:
    (877) 667-6266 or