Brown County Of Minnesota

Commitment to Excellence through Leadership, Teamwork, and Education

Eligibility for Children


Children grow at their own pace but there are some general developmental guidelines that children follow. If you, your child's medical providers, or someone at school has noticed significant delays in cognitive development and adaptive functioning, or if your child has been diagnosed with a condition that results in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of persons with developmental disabilities, this may suggest that your child could benefit from Developmental Disabilities (DD) services. If your child's only condition is medically related, your child may not qualify for DD services but they may be eligible for other social service programs.

Children Under 5 Years of Age

For a child under the age of 5 years, there are three main ways that DD social service eligibility is determined:

  1. The child has test scores of more than two standard deviations below the mean in two global functioning, one of which is cognition, and the child is at risk of mental retardation.
  2. The child may have been assessed and diagnosed by a psychologist as having global developmental delays.
  3. The child may have a related condition that results in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of persons with mental retardation. This may be indicated by substantial limitations in three or more areas of life activities, including self-care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction or judgment, and independent or daily living skills. Diagnoses which may (or may not) be related conditions include, but are not limited to:
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Autism
    • PDD
    • Epilepsy
    • Prader-Willi Syndrome
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)

Children Over 5 Years of Age

For a child over 5 years of age, a psychological evaluation (IQ score) completed within the last three years, and an adaptive skills assessment that documents delays must be provided. The child must show a full scale IQ of 70 or lower, or be diagnosed with a Related Condition (see list above) and show both significant deficits in adaptive skills and have similar service needs to a person with developmental disabilities. Brown County will assist with obtaining an evaluation, if one is not available from the school or through private insurance.

Is there a fee for Children's DD social services?

There may be a fee for DD services, based on family size and income. If you are paying a fee for TEFRA, or are receiving Social Security or Medical Assistance, we do not collect an additional fee.

The application process for children:

To apply for children's DD services, call 507-359-6500. You will be asked for some basic information over the phone to determine if your child may meet the criteria for eligibility and a DD worker will be in contact with you later to complete the MnChoice assessment and eligibility process. MnChoice Assessment Factsheet (Link)

When your child turns 18 years old:

Legal status of your child changes at age 18. Your child becomes a legal adult with all the rights and responsibilities of any other adult. If you have concerns that your child's judgment or decision-making is a threat to their welfare, if they are unable to make responsible personal decisions, and/or are unable to meet their needs, you may wish to explore guardianship of the person or conservatorship of the estate of your child. This is a legal procedure, done in court, and financial help is available for this process. A guardian or conservator may be a relative, another individual, or an agency. The necessary forms can be found on Minnesota Judicial Branch Guardianship or Conservatorship webpage.

At age 18, income eligibility is based on your child's income and assets, not on the family income. Your child should apply for medical assistance (MA), Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), and Social Security Income (SSI). These are important funding sources for services.

Your school district will work with your child and your child's interdisciplinary team to develop a transition plan. Your child's school meetings are important planning tools and can help the team plan for future work and housing. If your child plans to move after school, early planning is essential to start the process to request funding and supports for residential services, as these are not mandated services. Funding for these supports may be arranged through MN Division of Rehabilitation Services (training and job placement) or through your social worker at Brown County Human Services (ongoing support).



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