Disability Services

What is IDD?

An intellectual or developmental disability, also called IDD, includes many severe, chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. IDD can begin at any time, up to 22 years of age. It usually lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. People who have IDD have problems with major life activities such as:

  • Language
  • Mobility
  • Learning
  • Self-help
  • Independent living

The Explanation of IDD Services and Supports (PDF) describes programs to help people with IDD.

Who Can Get Help?

Each IDD service has its own rules. Most programs require that

  • you have limited income and assets.
  • you show a need for services.
  • you be a U.S. citizen or a qualified legal alien who lives in Texas.


Some services, such as those for children, have age limits. Others are for people of all ages. In Texas, your local IDD authority will determine if you can get services. To get services, one of the following must apply.

  • You must have a diagnosis of IDD.
  • You must have a pervasive developmental disorder, such as autism, as defined in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
  • You must have a related condition and be eligible for, and enroll in, an HHSC program that serves people with IDD.
  • You must be a nursing home resident with a diagnosis of IDD or a related condition.
  • You must be eligible for Early Childhood Intervention services.

Where Can I Get Services if I Have IDD?

People with IDD can choose where to live. Where you live depends on what you want, as well as which services you qualify for. You can live in:

  • Your own home
  • A group home with other people with IDD
  • An intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability or a related condition (ICF/IID) in your community
  • A state supported living center

People who are limited in one or more major life activities – hearing, seeing, thinking or memory, walking or moving, taking care of personal needs (bathing, feeding, dressing) or living independently – are said to have a disability. Some disabilities begin at a young age, while others are the result of accidents, injuries, or simply growing older.

The American Community Survey, also knowns as the Census, estimates 3.4 million Texans — or 12.9 percent of the population — had a disability in 2014. These men, women, and children are eligible for a range of state and federal services including rehabilitation, medical equipment, help finding a job, medical care, and personal attendants.

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) is ready to meet the challenge of providing a range of services to Texans with disabilities that help ensure their well-being, dignity, and choice. Programs also are in place to support family members who care for them.

Our experienced staff and paid contractors can help eligible Texans with disabilities access services so they can:

  • Live independently in their own homes or communities
  • Prepare for and find jobs
  • Provide medical equipment and assistive devices
  • Determine eligibility for Supplemental Security Income
  • Provide health care services to people who have disabilities who work
  • Give family caregivers the tools to do their job

Federal Programs for People with Disabilities

Eligible people with disabilities may qualify for federal and state programs that pay benefits, pay health care costs, or provide food. If you are not already signed up for one of these programs, visit the sites below to find out if you might be eligible or to apply for benefits.
  • Medicaid provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, and people who are older or who have disabilities. Each state has its own rules about who’s eligible, and what Medicaid covers. Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. To find out if you might be eligible for Medicaid in Texas, visit the Your Texas Benefits website.
  • Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People younger than age 65 with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure can also qualify for Medicare. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as food stamps) allows millions of Americans to buy nutritious food at their local grocery stores. It is available for both single people and families who have low-income. To find out if you might be eligible for SNAP, visit the Your Texas Benefits website.
  • Social Security pays a monthly benefit to older Americans, workers who become disabled, and families in which a spouse or parent dies. When you retire, your Social Security payment is based on your average earnings over your working career. If you are determined to be disabled, your benefit is based on the amount of income on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Some of your income and your resources are not counted when deciding whether you’re eligible for SSI. Your house and your car, for example, usually don’t count as resources.

How To Contact Us

We understand that finding help for older adults and people with disabilities can be overwhelming. That’s why we have Trained Specialists who will guide you to the right service options to help meet your needs. They are available to assist you Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you live within the 23 counties we serve, call the number below and follow the instructions.

Dial 1-855-937-2372

  1. then Press 1
  2. Press 1 again
  3. Enter the ZIP Code of the person receiving care or assistance

After following these easy steps, your call will be transferred to our Trained Information and Referral Specialists who are ready to listen to your concerns and provide you with information for a variety of service providers, including publicly funded and private pay services.

Whether you are looking for long-term care services or supports for yourself or someone else, please give the ADRC number a call.


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