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DD | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Q. Who is eligible to receive services?

A. Eligibility is determined by an assessment of the individual. The person must have an I.Q. test result of below 70; the individual must demonstrate significant or substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following major life activities: self care, receptive and expressive language development and use; learning; self-direction, mobility; and capacity for independent living, with all occurring prior to the age of 18 years. This information is determined from standardized assessments.

Q. Who should I contact if I think I am eligible or a member of my family is eligible for services?

A. You should contact the Division of Developmental Disabilities Call Center at 1-800-361-4491.

Within the next business day, an initial contact form will be faxed to the local designated 310 agency (case management agency) or other designated point of entry.

You may download the Call Center Brochure to obtain guidance on steps to take to apply for services and the administrative review options.

Q. What is needed to apply for services?

A. 1) Once contacted by the 310 agency, you will need to do the following:

  • Describe the needs and preferences of the applicant (person for whom services are being requested).

  • Provide information on the applicant’s current situation, personal and family history, and Medicaid eligibility status.

2) Additional information to be completed by the designated 310 agency:

  • Criticality summary completed within 90 days of application;

  • A psychological evaluation with the IQ range of the applicant (IQ score below 70 documented by a standardized intelligence test) including a review of all past intellectual assessments and IQ scores;

  • Documentation that the applicant has challenges with adaptive functioning (significant limitations in the applicant’s effectiveness in meeting the standards of maturation, learning, personal independence, and/or social responsibility that are expected for his/her age level and cultural group, as determined by clinical assessment, and usually, standardized scales) such as the ICAP (Inventory for Client and Agency Planning);

  • When there is cause to question the ICAP score, an additional clinical adaptive functioning assessment and other documentation may be requested;

  • Documentation that the applicant’s level of adaptive and intellectual functioning occurred prior to the age of 18 (developmental history).

3) The 310 agency will submit the completed informational packet for review to the regional community services office that serves the applicant’s county and, if approved, the applicant’s name will be placed on the waiting list. ADMH will make a determination of eligibility within 30 days of the receipt of the completed application. Note: the date of application, is the day a completed packet is received at the regional community services office.

Q. If I am eligible for services, is there an age requirement?

A. No. The only requirement is that the intellectual disability occurred prior to the age of 18 years.

Q. If my child is two years old or under, what services can I expect to obtain?

A. The Early Intervention Program is operated under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, with other agencies such as ADMH and the Alabama Department of Education being involved in providing services/supports. You may contact any of these agencies to determine services/supports that are available in your area.

Q. Does the state of Alabama operate residential homes located in my community?

A. The state does not directly operate residential homes in the community. However, the ADMH contracts with community agencies to provide residential and day habilitation services or work programs for individuals who meet criteria for services. These residential arrangements and programs are located throughout Alabama. You may obtain specific information about available services from the 310 agency or the regional community services office serving your region.

Q. Does the ADMH provide services in a family home?

A. Yes, but through contract with 310 agencies. If the individual with the disability meets service criteria, the 310 agency will discuss in-home supports that may be provided to the individual and their family. Services/supports are accessed through the ID Waiting List.

Q. How are services paid for?

A. There are a variety of funding sources to provide services to individuals with intellectual disabilities. These may include private pay, state funding, or a combination of state and federal funding. However, the individual must meet financial criteria for federal funds to be used for services. For persons who qualify based on age criteria, a cooperative funding arrangement may be made among agencies such as the ADMH, the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, etc. The 310 agency or the regional community services office will assist to identify funding sources for which the individual qualifies.

Q. Who should I call if there are problems or concerns with the services I receive?

A. The best person to discuss your concerns with is the individual's case coordinator. If your concerns are not adequately addressed, you should talk to an employee of the 310 Agency that supervises the services or to an employee in the regional community services office.

Q. When my child turns 19 years old, why do I have to be legally appointed their guardian when I am still their parent?

A. Many parents assume that their parental rights continue as long as they are the primary caregivers for their child, even when they turn 19 and are considered to be an adult. In order to be considered a legal guardian, the family would have to petition the local probate court to be appointed to make decisions on behalf of their child if the child is unable (incapacitated) to make or express decisions for themselves. There should be options of being appointed as a full guardian (making all decisions on behalf of your child), or as a limited guardian (making decisions in only the life areas in which the person cannot make or express those decisions for themselves such as major medical decisions, assistance with managing large sums of monies, etc.). Regardless of the level of guardianship, the appointed guardian should always respect the opinions and choices of the incapacitated individual to the degree that the individual can express himself.

Q. If services or supports are denied, what are my rights to appeal?

A. The appeal process — begins with a written request from the applicant, either to the Division of Developmental Disabilities or to the Alabama Medicaid Agency, with specific timelines involved for each. If the applicant appeals first to the Division of Developmental Disabilities, he or she will be entitled to a review by the Associate Commissioner, who will produce a written determination. If the individual is dissatisfied with that determination, he/she has the right to appeal to the Alabama Medicaid Agency. The notification fully explains the process of appeal to both agencies. Note: the applicant is not required to appeal first to the Division of Developmental Disabilities but may appeal initially to the Alabama Medicaid Agency.

Q. What do I have to do to start and operate a home(s) for individuals with intellectual disabilities?

A. Contact the ADMH Office of Certification Administration at 334-242-3937, to obtain instructions and information.

Q. What is self-advocacy?

A. A self-advocate is a person with a disability who speaks for themselves on their wants, desires, and choices in life. There are organized chapters of self-advocates that you can join to have a stronger voice in making your wishes and desires known and for society to be responsive to your needs and opinions. You may contact the Division of Developmental Disabilities' Office of Self-Advocacy at 334-353-7032, for more details.

Q. Can an individual with an intellectual disability vote?

A. If they have not been legally, through a probate court of jurisdiction, declared incapacitated (unable to make decisions for themselves), they have all their rights and may vote just as any other citizen.


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