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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 are “in transition.” You are transitioning from school-based resources to adult services. 
  • You should apply for developmental disabilities services early in the transition process so that eligibility can be determined. Age 16 is not too early!
  • In order to receive developmental disabilities services, you must be determined eligible.   
Developmental Disabilities Services
  • While you are in high school, day services are not available because they cannot replace what is available through the school system. Once eligible, you can have a Service Coordinator. Residential services depend on available funding.
  • After you are 21 years old, and have been determined eligible, you may receive funding for day services. Information about services is available on our service page. Your Service Coordinator will help you choose services to meet your needs. 
Transition Resources
  • Available Services for Teens & Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities is a brochure created by DD, Nebraska VR, and the Department of Education. It explains what each organization provides during and after high school. online view printable  (print two-sided) en Español print in Spanish (print two-sided)
  • DD Services: Funding to Transition from Educational Services brochure explains funding priority for eligible persons and what this means to graduates. (en Español) 
  • Nebraska VR should be working with you. Their services are available to students and adults seeking employment.
  • Ready, Set, Go! is a series of material and resources to assist young adults who have developmental disabilities to make decisions about supports as they move from high school to adult life. Funding for this project came from the Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities.
  • Resource Guide for Parents of Students with Disabilities -Information from Accredited Schools Online about the last years of school, including understanding ADA, Section 504, IDEA, and IEP.
  • The Transition Section of the Nebraska Department of Education website explains what to expect and what is required of you.  
  •   Transition Video from PTI Nebraska explains what parents, students, and Service Coordinators need to know about the transition period. 
Other Resources 
Social Security
You should apply for
Social Security. You may be qualified for Social Security (SSA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
DD requires that you apply for federal
Medicaid benefits and accept if qualified. Medicaid provides a federal match to state funds, which allows DD to fund more eligible people. 
  • When you apply for Medicaid at age 19, parental income does not count.
  • What do I Need to Know About Medicaid? briefly explains Medicaid. Includes information about ABD, Share of Cost, MIWD, ENABLE accounts, and Ability to Pay.  (en Español

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. Dial “211” on any telephone to find the help you need.

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