Division of Developmental Disabilities

DD Eligibility

People are eligible to receive developmental disability services from the State of Nebraska, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) if they meet criteria for an Intellectual Disability or a Developmental Disability.

Intellectual Disability

An Intellectual Disability is a form of Developmental Disability, but has different criteria than other types of Developmental Disabilities.

An Intellectual Disability is characterized by significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning and significant limitations in at least two areas of adaptive behavioral functioning.

General intellectual functioning is defined by the Intelligence Quotient (IQ or IQ-equivalent). Significantly sub-average intellectual functioning is defined as an IQ approximately 70 and below.

Adaptive behavioral functioning refers to the ability to effectively cope with common life demands, as well as achieve the standards of personal independence as expected of a person in a particular age group, socio-cultural background, and community background.

Areas of adaptive behavioral functioning that are reviewed during the process of determining eligibility for developmental disability services are as follows:

  • Self-care,

  • receptive and expressive language development and use,

  • learning, mobility,

  • self-direction,

  • capacity for independent living, and

  • economic self-sufficiency.

Adaptive functioning may be impacted by a variety of factors, such as education, motivation, personality characteristics, social and vocational opportunities, mental health difficulties, and medical conditions that commonly co-occur with an Intellectual Disability.

Examples of assessments used to evaluate a person’s adaptive behavioral functioning include, but are not limited to the Scales of Independent Behavior – Revised (SIB-R) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales – Second Edition.

The onset of an Intellectual Disability must occur prior to age 18 years.

Developmental Disability

A Developmental Disability is a severe, chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment other than a mental or physical impairment caused solely by mental illness.

People less than three years old must evidence at least one developmental delay. People age three years and older must evidence significant limitations in at least three areas of adaptive behavioral functioning.

Areas of adaptive behavioral functioning that are reviewed during the process of determining eligibility for developmental disability services are as follows:

  • Self-care.

  • receptive and expressive language development and use.

  • learning.

  • mobility.

  • self-direction.

  • capacity for independent living. and

  • economic self-sufficiency.

Significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning is not a component of a Developmental Disability other than an Intellectual Disability.

Examples of Developmental Disabilities include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Spina Bifida

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Cerebral Palsy

The onset of a Developmental Disability must occur prior to age 22 years and is likely to continue indefinitely.

  To request an application, please call toll free at 877-667-6266 (statewide) or 402-471-8786 (Lincoln only). You can also fax or email a referral form to 402-471-8792 or dhhs.ddcbs@nebraska.gov.

PDF 2011 DD Eligibility Referral form

PDF 2011 DD Eligibility Referral form (Spanish)


Contact Us
Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
P.O. Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-8501
dhhs.developmentaldisabilities@nebraska.gov


Documents in PDF PDF format require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader
which can be downloaded for free from Adobe Systems, Inc.