Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)

Latest News

09/15/2020: DDA received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for five waiver amendments with October 1, 2020 effective dates.  Learn more...

08/31/2020: Restarting Client In-Home Visits: What Individuals and Families Should Expect

08/18/2020: DDA Closures due to Furloughs

08/10/2020: Safe Start for Long Term Care plan announced (August 6, 2020) click here for more information.

06/24/2020: DDA Closures due to Furloughs

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information & Resources Page

The COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on state revenues, requiring substantial budget reductions. On May 13, the Office of Financial Management sent a directive to state agencies to propose options for reducing their General Fund-State (GF-S) expenditures from their current budgets by fifteen percent in state fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. For DDA, that equates to over $140 million GF-S. Because nearly all of our expenditures are matched by federal Medicaid matching dollars, the total will actually be around double that amount.

The proposed reductions are extremely difficult and due to the economic decline are expected to match or exceed budget cuts of the Great Recession. We were guided by our mission, vision, and values to complete the directive set forth by OFM while attempting to have the least amount of impact to clients, providers and staff, we followed a few key principles:

  1. Prioritize individuals with the highest service needs.
  2. Keep a wide variety of services available.
  3. Preserve the service provider network.
  4. Preserve our workforce by proposing across the board hour reductions and implementing hiring, travel and purchasing freezes to avoid complete job loss.
  5. Aligning our reductions with the Department and Governor’s priorities.

Exceptional measures are being considered to meet this reduction target. Some will require further decisions and action to implement, including amendments to collective bargaining agreements, state law and administrative rules, or Medicaid state plans, among others. The DDA reduction options for state fiscal year 2021 can be broken out into five main categories:

  1. Staffing costs:  Options include unpaid furlough days. ($8.3M GF-S; $14.8M total funds)
  2. Delay expansion or eliminate client service programs: Includes eliminating the Community Crisis Stabilization and Adult Family Home Meaningful Day programs and reducing Medicaid waiver capacity. ($26.6M GF-S; $48.8M)
  3. Residential Habilitation Center cuts: Options include reducing staff positions, consolidating cottages and closing Rainier School entirely. Closing Rainier and transitioning all the clients actually costs more in FY21, but leads to savings in the next biennium. ($5.5M GF-S; $11.5M Total Funds)
  4. Provider Rates: Savings is achieved by a rate cut for in-home providers, Adult Residential Care, Adult Family Homes, and employment and community integration providers capturing the additional 6.2 percent of enhanced Medicaid matching funds from July through September as savings. ($24.2M GF-S; $33.4M total funds)
  5. Client Eligibility: Changing the level of ICF/IID in Washington’s Medicaid state plan to increase functional eligibility requirements will end services for thousands of Medicaid clients in home and community residential settings and RHCs; and a corresponding reduction of DDA staff. ($75M.3 GF-S; $150.5M total funds)

These are only proposals at this point, not enacted cuts, although DSHS has already enacted an agency-wide hiring freeze (with exceptions for positions responsible for client health and safety such as direct care providers in RHCs and state-operated living alternatives), a travel freeze and an equipment purchasing freeze. These are challenging times for everyone, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your efforts to continue to engage and serve people with developmental disabilities and their families under increasingly difficult circumstances.

Additional details on the statewide list of OFM state agency reduction scenarios available Monday, June 8 at

Stakeholder Letter from Secretary Cheryl Strange

Thank you for your work to empower people to live the lives they want to lead.

Evelyn Perez

What We Do

The Developmental Disabilities Administration is transforming lives by providing support and fostering partnerships that empower people to live the lives they want. The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan describes our work and expected outcomes to accomplish the mission.  

People with developmental disabilities and their families are valued citizens of the state of Washington. The Developmental Disabilities Administration strives to develop and implement public policies that will promote individual worth, self-respect, and dignity such that each individual is valued as a contributing member of the community. The Developmental Disabilities Guiding Values encompasses our vision and values for inclusive communities.

For more information about our programs and services, see the 2020 Developmental Disabilities Administration Caseload and Cost Report.

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