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Understanding DDD and ALTCS in Arizona

Many ask: DDD and ALTCS; Are they the same? Are they different? What do I need to know?

Navigating the world of support services and healthcare can be a complex journey for families, especially when it involves understanding programs like the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). While some find the application and eligibilty process straight-forward and streamlined, others experience years of struggle and appeal for necessary services.  Either way, a general understanding of these programs is necessary for individuals with disabilities, their parents, and their extended care and support networks to maintain eligiblity through life’s many transitions.

In Arizona, these programs play a crucial role in providing essential services and support to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. In this blog post, we’ll explore what DDD and ALTCS are, their unique roles, and how they intersect to offer comprehensive care and support.

What is the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)?
The Division of Developmental Disabilities is a part of the Arizona Department of Economic Security. DDD is committed to delivering timely and comprehensive services to individuals with developmental disabilities. This includes support for conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, down syndrome, and cognitive disabilities, which are diagnosed before the age of 18.  You can use their site to help you determine eligibility: https://des.az.gov/services/disabilities/developmental-disabilities/determine-eligibility

Services provided by DDD are varied and are aimed at enabling individuals to live as independently as possible. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • Day Support Services
  • Early Intervention: Identifying and addressing developmental delays in children.
  • Therapeutic Services: Offering physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
  • Home Modification
  • Housing Opportunities: Providing group homes or supervised living environments.
  • Vocational Services: Assisting in job training and placement.

Most members associate DDD with their quarterly, in-person support coordinator meeting:  “The Support Coordinators facilitate a person-centered approach to maximize member and family self-determination, while promoting the values of dignity, independence, individuality, privacy and choice.”

DDD itself does not have income or resource limitations.

What is the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)?
ALTCS is a branch of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid program. It is designed to assist those who are elderly, physically disabled, or have a developmental disability, providing long-term care services at home, in the community, or in institutional settings. The program’s goal is to offer necessary medical services and support to those who qualify based on medical and financial criteria.

ALTCS provides a wide array of services, including:

  • Medical Care: Routine doctor’s appointments, hospital services, and prescription medications.
  • Home and Community-Based Services: Such as personal care, home health aide services, and adult day health care.
  • Nursing Facility Services: For individuals who require a higher level of care.
  • Intersection of DDD and ALTCS: Coordinated Care for Enhanced Support

While DDD and ALTCS are separate entities, they intersect in providing comprehensive services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Here’s how they work together:

Eligibility Overlap: Individuals with developmental disabilities may be eligible for services under both DDD and ALTCS, allowing them to receive a broader spectrum of support.

Integrated Services: For those who qualify for both programs, DDD and ALTCS collaborate to offer integrated care. This ensures that individuals receive well-rounded support, addressing their medical, social, and developmental needs.

Streamlined Support System: The intersection of DDD and ALTCS creates a more streamlined and effective support system, simplifying the process for families and ensuring that individuals receive the necessary services promptly and efficiently.

Resource Optimization: By working together, DDD and ALTCS optimize resources, ensuring that the individual’s needs are met in the most effective manner, avoiding duplication of services and making the best use of the available funding.

Navigating DDD and ALTCS in Arizona can initially seem daunting. However, understanding how these programs operate and interact can significantly benefit families and individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s essential to engage with these programs early and seek the guidance of professionals who can assist in navigating the system and ensuring that you or your loved one receives the comprehensive care and support needed.

By crafting tailored estate and special needs plans, including the strategic use of trusts, we ensure that our clients can maintain eligibility for vital ALTCS benefits. Our compassionate approach and deep expertise in Arizona’s legal landscape empower families to secure the care they need.

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