Building a Life

A transition guide for Kansans

Things to Consider


  • Contact the CDDO sooner than later to get your child on the wait list
  • An application can be made for SSI approximately 30 days prior to an individual's 18th birthday
  • Gather good documentation that applies to your young adult’s needs when applying for SSI
  • Typically, a recent cognitive evaluation and IEP are requested by the CDDO and SSI


Connecting with Services

The State of Kansas provides support for individuals with disabilities through Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers. These waivers provide services that are funded by Medicaid through federal and state dollars. Waiver services are provided in Kansas for people who have disabilities including developmental disabilities (I/DD waiver); physical disabilities (PD waiver); traumatic brain injury (TBI waiver); serious emotional disturbance (SED waiver); need technical assistance (TA waiver) and those who are frail and elderly (FE waiver).

For those persons who qualify, some waivers can provide assistance in the home, for day activities and other types of supports. Each waiver has its own point of entry for individuals to apply for services. For example, individuals with developmental disabilities must apply through their county’s Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO) for the I/DD waiver. People seeking the PD waiver should apply through their local Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and those seeking the SED waiver services must apply through their local Mental Health Centers. More information is at Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services website.

The Intellectual Developmental Disability (I/DD) Waiver: Kansans ages five and older who have a developmental disability and are Medicaid eligible can apply for services under the Developmental Disability (I/DD) Waiver. Individuals who qualify for this waiver meet the eligibility criteria determined by the Kansas SRS Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services. The point of entry for this waiver is through your local CDDO. There are 27 CDDOs in Kansas and each county has a CDDO designated to serve its consumers. At this time there is a wait list for services.

This waiver can provide funds to support individuals who:

  1. Live in their parent’s home

  2. Live in their own home

  3. Require day-services support

The I/DD Waiver is a lifetime support as long as the individual meets the criteria for funding. Eligibility criteria and a full description of supports available through this waiver.

Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) Waiver: The SED Waiver is funded for individuals up to 18 years of age. A serious emotional disturbance (SED) is defined as a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria that results in a functional impairment. Check with your local Community Mental Health Center to access needed supports. More information about the SED Waiver and eligibility criteria.

Physical Disability (PD) Wavier: The Physical Disabilities Waiver serves individuals age 16 to 65 years of age who meet the criteria for nursing facility placement due to their physical disability, who are determined disabled by Social Security standards, and who are Medicaid eligible. To apply for services, contact one of the 12 Centers for Independent Living (CIL) or the many home health providers across Kansas. For more information.  

Targeted Case Management (TCM): TCM services are paid for by Medicaid. Individuals can apply for Medicaid at 18 years of age at their local Department for Children and Families (formerly SRS) office. Eligibility for Medicaid is based only on the income of your young adult once he or she reaches 18 years of age. It’s important to remember that even if your young adult had Medicaid as a child, it DOES NOT automatically follow them to adulthood. Therefore, applying for Medicaid when he or she reaches 18 years of age is required if Medicaid coverage is needed.

Targeted case management is a support under some HCBS Waiver services. For example, the MR/DD waiver provides case management. TCM services can be accessed even if your son/daughter is on the waiver wait list. It is an important source of support to the individual and their family. Your TCM will help by identifying resources and coordinating services received through the MR/DD Waiver. A primary responsibility of case managers is to develop a person-centered plan. One usually can access TCM services quickly. For example, If your young adult qualifies for the MR/DD wavier, then case management services can be requested through your CDDO. Agencies can provide case management services, and in some counties, there are also independent case managers. If you choose case management through an agency, you typically do not get to choose the manager. One can access TCM services through the point of entry listed above under each waiver’s description if it is a service provided with that waiver.

Tools and Resources

Social Security or call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213
Deaf or hard of hearing toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778

Kansas Social Security Offices

Elements of a PASS Plan

As your young adult approaches their 18th birthday, an application can be made to Social Security for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals who will be or currently are working may qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Even though your son/daughter still lives in your home, only their income is considered, since they are now of legal age or age of majority. An individual can work and still receive SSI or SSDI.

SSI and SSDI may be used for rent, food, clothing and any other expenses they may have in order to live on their own. Selecting someone to be a representative payee for the young adult is an option for those who need help in managing their funds and budgeting. Generally, a family member or a friend may serve as the representative payee. If you, the parent, choose to be the representative payee, then this will be handled during the application process at the Social Security office. Note: A parent can be established as a representative payee without having legal guardianship over the child.

The role of the representative payee includes the following:

  1. SSI/SSDI check is mailed directly to the representative payee.
  2. Representative payee is responsible for paying and tracking all expenses.
  3. Annually the representative payee must report how the funds were used each calendar year to the Social Security Administration. The representative payee should keep a copy of everything sent to the SSA.

More information can be found at the social security website for disability