DDA Assessment

The Assessment Process

Once Intake and Eligibility has determined a person is DDA Eligible and the person has requested a DDA service, an assessment is necessary to determine whether a person will receive paid services. 

  • If the assessment determines the person is eligible for paid services, the person receives a copy of their Person-Centered Service Plan, a Planned Action Notice (PAN) legally informing the person what services they are eligible for, and on-going case management.  The Case Resource Manager, using the information produced by the DDA Assessment, will determine the service level, and authorize payment for client services
  • If the assessment determines the person is not eligible for paid services, the person receives a copy of the assessment, and the Case Resource Manager provides information and referrals to community resources.

The Assessment

The DDA Assessment is designed to measure the individual support needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities over a broad spectrum of life areas and activities. This information is essential in understanding the needs of the individuals we serve and assists Case Resource Managers with development of Person-Centered Service Plans. The individual being assessed will always be included in their assessment.  In addition, at least one person that has known the individual for at least six months must attend as an additional respondent.

For more information on the DDA Assessment check out WAC Chapter 388-828.

There are three sections in the DDA Assessment:

  • The Support Assessment (about 1 to 3 hours)
    The Support Assessment asks questions about what supports a person would need to be successful in many areas of their life.  It provides DDA with information about potential waiver eligibility and gathers information on caregiver needs, behavioral support needs, and protective supervision. It is used to build the Person-Centered Service Plan.
  • The Service Level Assessment (about 1 hour)
    The Service Level Assessment asks questions about what supports are currently being provided or have been provided during lookback periods using the department’s comprehensive assessment reporting evaluation (CARE) tool.  Refer to WAC Chapter 388-106 for detailed information. The answers to these questions will help case resource managers develop the Person-Centered Service Plan (PCSP).
  • The Person-Centered Service Plan (about 1-2 hours) 
    The Person-Centered Service Plan describes the paid services the client is authorized to receive. It also includes informal (unpaid) supports and important goals to the client.  A change or update to the Person-Centered Service Plan may be requested at any time; this is called a Plan Amendment. 

Assessment Types:

  • Initial Assessment – Completed when services are requested.
  • Annual Assessment - Completed yearly to continue receiving services.
  • Significant Change Assessment – Completed when there is a significant change in the clients support needs, such as an increase in medical or behavioral supports.  This can occur at any time during the year.
  • Interim Assessment – Completed when an update is needed to the supports paid and unpaid caregivers are providing.  This can occur at any time during the year. 

Informational Flyers


  • For information on the Support Assessment: Erin Fatland, Joint Requirements Planning Unit Manager, erin.fatland@dshs.wa.gov
  • For information on the Service Level Assessment: Melissa Randles, State Plan Services Unit Manager, melissa.randles@dshs.wa.gov
  • For information on the Person-Centered Service Plan: Anthony Blue, Quality Control and Compliance Unit Manager, anthony.blue@dshs.wa.gov
  • For more information on how to become eligible for the Developmental Disabilities Administration, click here