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Transitioning from High School at 21 years old
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Transitioning from High School at 21 years old

If you are between the ages of 16 and 21, you may be referred to as “in transition.” You are transitioning from school-based resources to adult services. 
  • It is important that you be referred to the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD) early in the transition process so that eligibility may be determined. Age 16 is not too early!
  • In order to receive developmental disability (DD) services, you must be determined eligible.   
Developmental Disabilities (DD) Services
While you are in high school, services are limited because DD services cannot replace services available through the school system. Once determined eligible, you can have a DD Service Coordinator who can attend IEP meetings. Your DD coordinator can meet with you and your family to assist with identifying and applying for services that may benefit you. Other DD services, such as residential, depend on available funding.
Once you have graduated high school, are 21 years old, and have been determined eligible, you may receive funding for day services. Information about services is available on our service array page. Your DD coordinator will help you identify services to meet your needs.
Transition Resources
Ready, Set, Go! is a web-based series of materials and resources to assist young adults with developmental disabilities in making decisions about supports for as they move from high school to adult life. Funding for this project came from the Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. You may view the brochure as a PDF in English or Spanish.
Another resource is the Transition Section of the Nebraska Department of Education website. It explains what to expect and what is required of you. 
You should be working with Nebraska VR. Their services are available to both students and adults actively seeking employment. 
Available Services for Teens & Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities is a brochure created by DD along with Nebraska VR and the Department of Education. This explains the relationship between your school, Nebraska VR (vocational rehabilitation services), and DD services.
online view printable (print two-sided) en Español print in Spanish (print two-sided)
DD Services: Funding to Transition from Educational Services  (en Español) - A brochure explaining funding priority for eligible persons per state statute and what this means to those graduating.
Other Resources 

Social Security

You should apply for Social Security for disability determination and funding. You may be qualified for Social Security (SSA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 


DDD requires that you apply for federal Medicaid benefits, and accept if qualified. Medicaid will provide a federal match to state funding, which allows DDD to fund more people who are eligible.  You should apply for Medicaid at age 18.

 What do I Need to Know About Medicaid?     (en Español) - Information for DD applicants and participants briefly explaining what they need to know about Medicaid. Includes information about ABD, Share of Cost, MIWD, ENABLE accounts, and Ability to Pay.

Financial Assistance

You may be eligible for financial assistance from Children & Family Services (CFS) programs, such as:
Local Resources
You may be able to get assistance from: 
  • Local housing assistance
  • Food banks or food nets
  • In Douglas and Sarpy Counties - Bridge Program Benefits Planning for Youth 14-21

Information and referral is available from Nebraska 211, hosted by United Way of the Midlands. Simply dial “211” on any telephone to find the help you need.

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