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Adult Services For individuals with Developmental Disabilities



The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) provides funding for services and supports which assist adults with developmental disabilities. DDD services can include case management, residential services, adult day programs, vocational supports, family supports and professional support services.


New Jersey State Law (N.J.A.C. 10:46-1.3) defines a “developmental disability” as a severe, chronic disability in which all of the following four (4) conditions are met:


  1. The disability is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental or physical impairments;

  2. The impairment manifests itself before age 22;

  3. The impairment is likely to continue indefinitely;

  4. As a result of the impairment the individual exhibits a substantial functional limitation in three or more of the following areas of major life activity;

  5. Self care,

  6. Receptive and expressive language;

  7. Learning;

  8. Mobility;

  9. Self-direction; and/or

  10. Capacity for independent living or economic self sufficiency.

DDD determines who is eligible to receive services through an application process.  The application can be completed by the individual’s parent, guardian or the individual him/herself. In order to be found eligible for services the above criteria must be met. If DDD finds a person ineligible, there is an appeal process to challenge the determination. The individual can also re-apply, at any time thereafter, if he/she has new information for DDD to consider.

When applying to DDD, it is critical for parents/guardians to accurately describe the individual’s limitations. Overemphasizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses may result in ineligibility. When asked about things the applicant can do “independently” the person answering the questions should consider the skills of a non-disabled person as a guide and answer the questions honestly. For instance, if the individual only takes a shower when reminded, requires prompting, or must be supervised, then they “require assistance” and are not showering “independently.”


DDD currently utilizes a Medicaid waiver program called the Community Care Waiver (CCW) to fund in home services and residential placements. Recently, New Jersey was awarded a new Medicaid waiver called the Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver (CMW). As of this printing, DDD is in the process of rolling out a new program called the Supports Program which will be funded through the CMW. The Supports Program will provide support services for DDD-eligible adults aged 21 and older who are living at home with their families or in other non-DDD funded housing. All DDD-eligible adults must be enrolled in Medicaid in order to be placed on the CCW or the CMW in order to receive ANY services from DDD. If, at any time, an individual receiving DDD services through the Supports Program becomes ineligible for Medicaid, he/she will be dis-enrolled from ALL DDD funded programs or services.

The Community Care Waiver – CCW (In Home Services and Residential Placements):
The CCW is the funding source for DDD residential services. There is currently a long waiting list for the CCW. In order to be placed on the waiting list, an individual’s parents must both be aged 55 or over or there must be a crisis in the home that DDD deems sufficient to place the individual on the waiting list. In certain circumstances where a person is at risk of “imminent harm or homelessness” they may be able to bypass the list and be placed directly on the CCW or granted an emergency residential placement.

The Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver - CMW (Supports Program):
The CMW is a new Medicaid waiver that New Jersey was granted to help fund support services for individuals with developmental disabilities in our state. In the near future, all DDD-eligible adults, other than those currently enrolled on the CCW discussed above will receive services from DDD through the Supports Program CMW waiver. When the Supports Program is fully implemented, all DDD-eligible adults must be enrolled in Medicaid in order to receive any services from DDD. In addition, all DDD providers must become Medicaid providers in order to continue to provide services to DDD clients. No money may be paid directly to the family as a cash subsidy under the Supports Program.

Therefore, once fully implemented, employment/Day Services (currently referred to as Self-Directed Day) as well as Family Support Services – will be rolled into the Supports Program. All DDD clients not on the CCW will have two separate need-based budgets in the Support Program – one for day/employment services and one for family support. The day/employment service budget will be assessed similarly to the current Self-Directed Day program. The Family Support budget will be assessed at one of three “up to” levels of $5,000, $10,000 & $15,000. Supports Program services will include, but not be limited to:


  1. Supported Employment,

  2. Career Planning,

  3. Prevocational Services,

  4. Day Habilitation,

  5. Respite,

  6. Assistive Technology/Vehicle Modifications,

  7. Behavioral Supports,

  8. Community Based Supports,

  9. Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapies,

  10. Transportation, and

  11. Support Coordination


As of January 1, 2013, DDD transferred all children served by DDD (other than children on the CCW) to the Children’s System of Care (CSOC) which is a part of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). When completed, DDD will no longer serve children. All services for children, those with developmental as well as mental health disabilities will be served by CSOC. To contact CSOC call Perform Care at 1-877-652-7624.


DVRS services are limited to employment and employment-related training for adults with developmental disabilities. DVRS may provide the following services:


  1. Vocational evaluation,

  2. Counseling,

  3. Job-seeking Skills Training & Selective Job Placement,

  4. Job Coaching, Vocational, and On-the-job training

DVRS services are not intended to be long term. They are intended to help the individual find and acclimate to a job and then to fade. More intensive job coaching services are accessed through DDD. However, due to an interagency agreement between DVRS and DDD, individuals may access both agencies for support.


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