Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Index


    Are Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder included in developmental disabilities?

    They can be. It depends on how the condition impacts the individuals ability to function in life. A comprehensive assessment of the individuals needs would be needed to know for sure; therefore, a person with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder should be assessed by a pre-admission screening provider. You can schedule an assessment with a pre-admission screener by contacting your local coordination agency. Click here to find a local coordination agency in your area.

    How can I know if I or my loved-one really has a developmental disability?

    Contact and talk with one of the 18 pre-admission screening providers in the State. Click here to find a local coordination agency in your area. Determining whether an individual has a developmental disability can be a complicated process. These providers have qualified professionals who are trained in this process and will help you through it.

    Why should I contact a pre-admission screening provider?

    These organizations are under contract with the State to enroll individuals in the PUNS database, complete assessments to determine eligibility for services, and assist individuals in linking to needed services and providers.

    What is PUNS and how is it used?

    PUNS stands for Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services. It is a statewide database that records information about individuals with developmental disabilities who are potentially in need of services now or within the next five-years. The State uses the data for three main purposes: (1) to select individuals for services as funding becomes available, (2) to develop proposals and materials for the States annual budgeting process, and (3) to plan for future needs. Click here to read more about signing up for the PUNS program.

    What types of services could I possibly get?

    Possible services include:

    • In-home supports to help you live more independently.
    • Respite care to provide temporary relief to your caregiver.
    • Training programs to teach you life and work skills.
    • Job coaches to help you succeed in the workplace.
    • Residential living arrangements to provide you with the security and care you need.
    • Adaptive equipment to make you more independent.
    • Other supports to improve your quality of life.

    If I fill out a PUNS form, will I be sure to get services?

    No. Completion of a PUNS form assumes neither your eligibility for services nor guarantees your receipt of services; however, it will ensure that the State knows about your need for services. Funding for developmental disabilities services is limited in Illinois, as it is across the nationwe do not want to create false expectations. Unless we know about your needs, however, we cannot plan for them.

    If I am authorized to receive funding for services, how will I find the right provider to meet my needs?

    The Pre-Admission Screening organizations will provide you with factual and objective information about the service providers in your area. They will also help you contact the providers to learn more about them. You, along with your family or guardian, if you have one, are the one who decides which providers you wish to serve you.

    What if I chose a provider and then realize later that I am not satisfied with its services?

    Providers should develop services to meet your specific needs, and they try hard to do so within the resources they have available to them. If you are not satisfied or think another provider could do a better job, however, you can always change providers.


    For additional information:

    Call the Developmental Disabilities help line at 1-888-DD-PLANS or 1-866-376-8446 (TTY).