DDA and Birth-Three Services: Why Apply?

In Washington State, eligibility criteria for DDA and the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program are the same for children ages birth to three.

If you have an infant or toddler in need of early intervention services, you will be asked to apply for eligibility from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) in addition to the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program.

Chalkboard with the equation DDA equals ESIT eligibility for chidlren birth to threeThat’s because the specialized therapies and educational services your child and family receives with the help of a Family Resources Coordinator (FRC) are paid, in part, through DDA funds.

Even if you have private insurance, funding through DDA is part of the publicly funded services provided by most early intervention providers. Simply put, becoming DDA eligible allows your 0-3 provider to access DDA funding for your services.

For some children with medically intensive needs, additional services may also be available such as in-home nursing services.

What to Expect

Once your DDA application is accepted, you will receive a letter called a “Planned Action Notice.” The notice simply cites the rules that make your child eligible, and notifies you when eligibility will need to be reviewed.

You may receive a letter from DDA around your child’s 3rd birthday, indicating that you are now on the “no paid services” caseload. This means you have no assigned case manager or paid services. To request an assessment for paid services please call the number listed on the letter.

Six months before your child’s 4th birthday you will receive notice that your child’s eligibility will expire at age 4.  It is important to call the number provided to get information about the process.

DDA eligibility will also be reviewed again at age 10 and prior to your child’s 20th birthday. Click here for more information on eligibility.

Reasons to Re-Apply with DDA at Age 4

  • Some children do get DDA services right away. No waiting.
  • Becoming a client as a child helps transition to services as an adult.
  • DDA clients who don’t get paid services receive useful information.
  • Eligibility puts you a step ahead in the event your child needs more support than you can provide.
  • Documenting your child’s needs helps everyone.  Even if you are denied a service due to lack of funding, you provide data that gives the state a true picture of the number of eligible people and their unmet needs.

Beyond 0-3

  • DDA Services Include:
  • Respite
  • Personal Care
  • OT/PT/Speech & Hearing
  • Home & Vehicle Modifications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Short-term Emergency Services
  • Supported employment and in-home support (for adults)

Learn more about DDA services.

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