EMERGENCY: Call or text 988

Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services


Adult Services

Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services is an administrative entity under contract to Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to administer services in Philadelphia. IDS works with service providers to offer quality supports and services so individuals will have choices in their lives, meaningful relationships, and participation in their community as valued citizens.

Waiver Services

In addition to supports coordination, if determined eligible for the waiver, services include but are not limited to: home and community habitation; adaptive equipment; behavior and other therapies; habitation services; and residential, respite, employment, and day services. For further information you can access the complete list of service definitions available from the Pennsylvania Home and Community Services Information System. Services for individuals are reimbursed by the Pennsylvania state treasury, primarily through the Medicaid waiver, a provision of the Social Security Act. A limited amount of resources may be available to individuals not in the Waiver.

What You Need to Know
  • There may be waiting lists for Waiver services, but all eligible individuals receive supports coordinator services at no charge.
  • If you are not eligible for Medicaid waiver services, you will be helped to find other community services.
  • If you are not registered to vote, you will be offered the opportunity to complete an application.
  • It is important for all eligible individuals to register with Intellectual disAbility Services if he or she wants to receive services and supports.

Learn more about how to get started in accessing Adult Services (See below).

Find out if you are eligible for IDS’ services (see below).


To be eligible for services in Pennsylvania, you must:

  • Have an IQ of 70 or below
  • Have significant limitations in three areas such as communication, self-care, home living and social skills, based on a standardized test of adaptive behavior
  • Have proof of an intellectual disability before your 22nd birthday, and
  • Be a legal resident of Pennsylvania

Eligibility documentation and a current psychological evaluation must be available to be reviewed by IDS before a registration appointment is scheduled.

Individuals New to the System

If you were never registered for services, or if you are coming from the public school system, children‘s services such as the Department of Human Services, or a nursing home, you may be eligible to register for services.

How Do You Receive Intellectual disAbility Services?

To find out if you are eligible for intellectual disAbility services, call the Philadelphia IDS Registration Unit at 215-685-4677 to make an appointment with a registration specialist.

Additional information about state-funded benefits are available on the Compass website.

For more information visit the IDS Service Directory.

Next Steps

Get Started in the process of enrolling for services.

Getting Started

What to Bring When You Meet with Us

If you are eligible, a registration appointment will be scheduled at IDS. You will be asked to bring:

  • Personal and demographic information
  • Social Security card
  • Medicaid or Access card
  • Birth certificate
  • Any supporting medical or psychiatric evaluations

IDS will request that you provide a completed physical exam form to the Supports Coordinator.

If you are not receiving Medical Assistance and are eligible, we will provide you with information on how to enroll.

The Process

Step 1: Meet with a Registration Specialist
The Registration Specialist will complete forms with you and your family. This includes the waiting list form, application for waiver services (if applicable), services preference, voter registration, and a social summary.

Step 2: Discussing Services
The registration specialist will help you begin to plan by discussing services you may need and offer you a choice of a supports coordination organization (SCO).
More information about SCOs

Step 3: Eligibility Notification
Within 10 days after the registration process is complete, you will receive an eligibility determination letter. Your rights in the mediation and appeal process will be included in the letter.

Step 4: Refer to an SCO and Develop an ISP
Within two weeks later you are referred to the SCO, you will be assigned to a supports coordinator. The supports coordinator will help you develop an individual support plan (ISP), as well as identify, locate, coordinate, and monitor community and system services and supports. Please note that you can transfer your SCO at any time you are not satisfied with services.

Additional information about state-funded benefits are available on the Compass website.