Criteria For Determining Eligibility for OPWDD Services:

What is OPWDD?

OPWDD stands for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. It is the New York State office that provides funding for services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities include mental retardation, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and other neurologically based impairments. In addition: the disability must have occurred prior to the persons 22nd birthday; the disability must cause significant deficits in the individuals adaptive functioning; the disability must be expected to continue indefinitely.

What do I need to know about receiving OPWDD services?

In order to be eligible for OPWDD services, the individual must have a diagnosed developmental disability and must provide documentation establishing the disability diagnosis.

What documentation do I need to determine if an individual has a developmental disability?

OPWDD requires everyone applying for services to provide:

  • A recent comprehensive psychological evaluation including an IQ score and an adaptive behavior assessment.
  • A psychosocial evaluation documenting the individual’s developmental history is also required for some services.
  • Medical documentation of the individual’s diagnosis may also be required.
  • If the individual is over the age of 22, they may need to provide proof that the disability manifested itself prior to the age of 22. This is often referred to as “age of onset documentation.”

The Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO) may request additional documentation regarding the person’s disability.

How can I find age of onset documentation?

Age of onset documentation can be obtained by requesting old school records, evaluations or other clinical documentation from doctors or professionals involved with the individual. For individuals who attended school, you may submit a documentation request to the school system using this sample document request letter Sample Document Request Letter.

Where can I get evaluations to establish eligibility?

sasi can provide the required comprehensive psychological and psychosocial evaluations in the Article 16 clinic in Elma, NY. Call 716-805-1440 to make a referral or find out more information about the evaluations.

Once the psychological evaluations are complete, how does someone get services?

Call the Intake Department to discuss the evaluation results and a representative can help you to determine if an individual is eligible and provide information and referrals accordingly. The representative will also discuss if additional evaluations are required to access services.

I want to know more! How can I get more detailed information about eligibility?

For more detailed information on eligibility criteria for OPWDD services, visit or You can also call Intake and a representative will answer your questions and discuss your specific situation.

Need more information?

Contact our Intake Department to speak to a representative who will be glad to answer your inquiries. We’ll be glad to take your call and listen to your questions and concerns.

Telephone: 1-888-805-1555 or 716-805-1555
Email: [email protected]

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