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Applying for Services with APD

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APD LogoCurrently, APD Florida (The Agency for Persons with Disabilities) has 21,000 people waiting for services. 

To apply for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, which includes waiver participation or placement in an intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled (ICF/DD), submit an application to the APD office that serves your area, either by mail or by hand delivery. Faxed submissions will be returned for an original signature.

Waiver applicants who are in a crisis situation (homeless, danger to self or others, or caregiver unable to give care) should contact the Agency for Persons with Disabilities regional office serving their county. The local regional office may be able to provide short-term services and will review the situation and determine if a crisis application should be completed.

To be eligible for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, you must be a Florida resident and have one of the following seven developmental disabilities: autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, spina bifida or children age 3-5 who are at a high risk of a developmental disability.

In order to be eligible for services, an individual must have a developmental disability that occurs prior to age 18.

As part of the application process, APD will request proof of a developmental disability diagnosis.  If you have the proof of eligibility that you can provide with your application, it will streamline the eligibility review process. Otherwise, APD will assist you in obtaining the information. Documentation of a developmental disability may include but is not limited to school records, testing, or medical records.

After applying, and if you have been found eligible to receive services, you will be placed on a waiting list based on your priority category (refer to the Waitlist Priority Categories located on our website at:

If you feel you are Medicaid eligible, please contact the Florida Department of Children and Families at 1-866-762-2237.

If you are under the age of 21, you may qualify for services under the Medicaid State plan. Please contact the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration at 1-888-419-3456 for more information.

Contact Information for APD:
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0950
Phone: (850) 488-4257
Toll-Free: 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273)
Fax: (850) 922-6456
Email: [email protected]

Supporting Active Duty Military Services Families

The 2014 Florida Legislature authorized individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of 393.065(1), F.S., to receive home and community-based services in this state if the individual’s parent or legal guardian is an active duty military service member and, at the time of the service member’s transfer to Florida, the individual was receiving home and community-based services in another state. This law became effective on July 1, 2014.  To learn more, check out this informational flyer.

Why is there a DD waitlist?

Simply stated, the need for services far outpaces the current funding allocated by the Florida Legislature. However, the waitlist has been a longstanding problem. Indeed, many people with DD have been waiting for over ten years or more! There are 21,017 people (as of December 2017) on the waitlist until resources become available (i.e. 40% are waiting, while 60% are receiving services). The waitlist first reached over 20,000 in May 2011. Approximately half of the individuals on the waiting list receive Medicaid State plan services.

The waitlist has 7 priority categories based on an evaluation of current circumstances and/or intensity of need. Progress has been made to address people in the top 5 categories however categories 6 and 7 make up nearly 93% of the current waitlist!

The Florida Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting (iBudget) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver is authorized under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act and governed by Title 42, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 440 and 441.  The iBudget Waiver provides home and community-based supports and services to eligible persons with developmental disabilities (DD) living at home or in a home-like setting.  The iBudget Waiver program is funded by both federal and matching state dollars.

Currently, people with the following developmental disabilities may be eligible for the iBudget waiver.

• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Cerebral Palsy
• Spina Bifida
• Intellectual Disabilities
• Down Syndrome
• Prader-Willi Syndrome
• Phelan McDermid Syndrome
• Children age 3-5 who are at a high risk of a developmental disability

Visit the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) website for more info on who is eligible