APD > Applying for Services


Applying for Services

In order to be eligible for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (“APD”), an individual must have a developmental disability (as defined in section 393.063(12), Florida Statutes), which occurs prior to age 18 and constitutes a substantial handicap that can reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely. Disabilities served by APD include:

  • Intellectual Disability (Full Scale IQ of 70 or below),
  • Severe forms of Autism,
  • Spina Bifida cystica or myelomeningocele,
  • Cerebral Palsy,
  • Prader-Willi syndrome,
  • Down syndrome,
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome, or
  • Individuals between the ages of 3-5 at high risk for a developmental disability.

As part of the application process, APD will request proof of a developmental disability diagnosis. Documentation of a developmental disability may include, but is not limited to school records, testing, or medical records. APD may assist with the provision of a comprehensive assessment if necessary to definitively identify individual conditions or needs. Refer to the link below for more information on eligibility and applying for services.

Only applicants whose domicile is in Florida are eligible for services. Domicile may be established as provided in section 222.17, Florida Statutes. Additionally, applicants must be at least 3 years of age to be determined eligible for services. Examples of documents that may be used as proof of domicile include: Florida Driver’s License or ID Card, Florida’s Voter Registration Card, Florida’s Court Filed Declaration of Domicile, Homestead exemption filing, mortgage or lease agreement, or employment/school records.

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.

To apply for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, which includes participation in the iBudget Home and Community-Based Services Waiver or placement in an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (ICF/IID), 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.

Application for services may be accepted from a parent or court-appointed guardian of a minor child, a legally competent adult, or an authorized legal representative. For applicants under 18 years of age, the person’s legal representative must sign the application for APD services. If the applicant is 18 years of age or older, he or she must sign the application and all necessary documents unless he has been determined incapacitated by a court of law or unless he has asked another person to exercise his rights (in writing). An adult who is unable to sign may mark the signature line. The mark shall be identified and witnessed as “his/her mark.” If the adult is incapacitated, the legal representative, as identified in a court order, shall execute all documents on behalf of the applicant.

Applicants who are in crisis (meaning they’re currently homeless, exhibit life-threatening behaviors that place them or others in extreme danger, or have a caregiver who is in extreme duress and can no longer provide for the applicant’s health and safety) 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 to determine if a crisis waiver enrollment request is warranted. For more information regarding crisis criteria, please visit the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register website at: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=65G-1

Children under the age of 3 with significant delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay are served by the Florida’s Early Steps Program within the Department of Health. For more information, please contact them at 1- (800) 218-0001 or visit their website at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/childrens-health/early-steps/index.html

Florida Kidcare – Offers healthcare coverage for children from birth to age 18. There are 4 possible programs, including:  Medicaid, MediKids, Florida Healthy Kids, or the Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan. The eligibility for the various programs is determined based on the age of the child, family income, and household size. For more information please contact Florida Kidcare at 1-888-540-KIDS (5437) or visit their website at: https://www.floridakidcare.org/

Please visit APD’s Resource Directory at: http://apdcares.org/ for additional information related to available resources and organizations throughout the State of Florida.

The Florida Navigator is an online tool designed to empower and inform individuals with developmental disabilities, caregivers, and professionals about specific State of Florida services. To learn more about the Florida Navigator, visit our website at: http://apdcares.org/ and click on the Florida Navigator.

Click here for more information on eligibility and applying for services.


I receive services in another state, but I would like to move to Florida. What do I need to know before I move?

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. Once you move to Florida, you can apply for services through one of the APD regional offices. Contact information for each office can be found by clicking on the map below.

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: http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/waitlist/). You and your family may want to consider the services that are being received now, and determine if you would be able to go without those services for an extended period of time after relocating to Florida.

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.


Offering Waiver Enrollment to People with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

In 2016 the Florida Legislature authorized $2.5 million dollars to offer waiver enrollment to individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome who meet the eligibility requirements of section 393.065(1), Florida Statutes. To learn more, check out this informational flyer.


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.


Application Download

  • Application for Services
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  • Solicitud español
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  • Aplikasyon Pou Mande Sèvis
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  1. The Bill of Rights of All Persons with Developmental Disabilities
  2. Resident Rights for Individuals Living in APD Licensed Facilities
  3. Family Care Council Brochure
  4. Guide to Services Brochure - Serving Floridians with Developmental Disabilities
  5. Agency for Persons with Disabilities - Guide to Administrative Hearings Brochure
  6. HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice
  7. Consent to Obtain/Release Information

Save Without Impacting Eligibility for Benefits

ABLE United, Florida’s qualified ABLE program, provides savings and investment accounts that allow individuals with disabilities to save up to $15,000 annually without impacting eligibility for benefits like Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Anyone can contribute to an account, funds have the potential to grow tax-free, and can be used any time to pay for expenses that help improve or maintain health, independence or quality of life. To learn more and open an account, visit www.ableunited.com


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