The programs available to people with disabilities and their families in New Jersey are many, but they are also spread out across State and municipal departments. This section is meant to serve as a starting point for people who are unaware of what resources are available and to give them the knowledge to pursue the services they need.
A list of these departments and divisions that include services for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses can be found below, along with a selection of programs within them.
Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD): Provides services for eligible New Jersey adults (age 21 and older) with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Division of Disability Services (DDS): The single point of entry for disability-related information.
- Informational and referral services: Calls with professionally certified specialists to learn about available services. They can be reached at 1-800-285-3036.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Fund: Purchases supports and services to foster independence and maximize quality of life for people who have survived a traumatic brain injury.
- Personal Assistance Service Program: Provides up to 40 hours per week of routine, non-medical personal care assistance to adults with permanent physical disabilities who are 18 years of age or older, who are employed, preparing for employment, attending school or involved in community volunteer work and who are able to self-direct their own services.
- New Jersey Resources Guide (2022, English, Spanish, audio): Details the programs and services the New Jersey Department of Human Services offers residents, caregivers, advocates, and individuals with disabilities.
Division of Aging Services (DoAS): Administers a number of state- and federal-funded programs that make it easier for older adults and individuals with disabilities to live with dignity in their communities for as long as possible.
- Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS): Conducts clinical eligibility and quality assurance for MLTSS, which provides long-term care supports in a community setting.
- Adult Protective Services: Receives and investigates reports of suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults living in a community setting.
- NJSave: An online application for programs that help individuals with disabilities save money on Medicare premiums, prescription costs, and other living expenses by processing the applications to multiple programs at once, such as Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD), Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (HAAAD), and others.
Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI): Provides access to services that will enable people who are blind or visually impaired to obtain their fullest measure of self-reliance and improved quality of life.
- Educational services: Provides vision assessments and at-home specialized instruction for children under the age of 3, then contracts with local school districts to provide comprehensive services to children when in school.
- Vocational rehabilitation: Assists in the development, acquisition, or updating of skills that will enable people who are blind or visually impaired secure or maintain employment.
- Independent living: Helps people gain the skills of daily living needed to lead a full and productive life.
- Project BEST: Free eye health services from mobile units, fixed sites, or on-site facilities in schools and institutions. Also seeks to target underserved populations, such as migrant farm workers.
Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH): Provides education, advocacy, and direct services to eliminate barriers and promote increased accessibility to programs, services, and information routinely available to the state’s general population.
- Sign Language and Caption Services: Manages and updates a sign language interpreter referral list containing the contact information for certified interpreters, defined as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Hearing Aid Program/Equipment Distribution Program: Ensures that New Jersey residents with hearing loss, regardless of their economic status, have access to critical telecommunications and visual alerting home safety equipment needed to live independently.
- Language Instruction Program for Children: Provides language acquisition and development services for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind children ages 0 to 5.
Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS): Oversees New Jersey's adult system of community-based mental and behavioral health services.
- Mental health treatment services: Contracts with and oversees community-based mental health organizations that provide community residences, outpatient services, case management, and a host of other services.
- Addiction treatment services: Establishes the policy for the substance use disorder treatment, prevention and recovery support services, as well as oversees the care of independent treatment agencies that offer services ranging from detoxification care to long-term residential treatment.
- Olmstead Settlement Agreement: As part of compliance with the Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), the State works to ensure that consumers receiving services in its state psychiatric facilities remain only as long as necessary and are prepared as soon as possible for successful transition to the community. Various advisory and oversight committees work to ensure that the Home to Recovery 2 Plan remains enforced.
Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS): Administers Medicaid for the State of New Jersey (NJ FamilyCare), which provides health insurance to people with disabilities, among other populations.
- Medicaid (NJ FamilyCare): Federal- and state-funded health insurance program created to help qualified New Jersey residents of any age (who do not have employer insurance) access to affordable health insurance.
- Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS): Offers private-duty nursing services in the community for for children who required a skilled level of care but who are ineligible for NJ FamilyCare and for adults with disabilities who meet clinical level of care and financial eligibility requirements
- NJ FamilyCare Health Plans: Five private healthcare agencies are currently under contract to provide managed care services for NJ FamilyCare customers.
- Perinatal Episode of Care pilot program: A three-year pilot to test a new alternative payment model for prenatal, labor, and postpartum services statewide that ties financial incentives for clinicians to improvements in quality and cost of maternity-related care, as well as provides personalized feedback for performance.
Division of Family Development (DFD): Among other duties, the DFD administers the State's county boards of social services, which administers government social services and medical assistance on the local level.
- Work First NJ: Provides monthly cash assistance (through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or General Assistance (GA) programs), short-term housing supports, childcare, and employment and training services
- NJ SNAP: Provides food assistance to people to help them buy groceries through a benefits card accepted in most food stores and some farmers’ markets.
Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission (CICRF): Administers the CICRF, which awards grants to families with children with potentially catastrophic medical conditions not covered by insurance or fundraising.
New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD): Advances public policy and systems change that helps people with developmental disabilities gain more control over their lives. The council identifies the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities such as housing, employment, transportation, services, and supports systems.
Office of Special Education: Monitors the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) by local education agencies.
Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf: Provides a comprehensive education in an English and American Sign Language Bilingual environment that prepares deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) students from ages 3-21 for postsecondary education or a career upon graduation.
Office of Student Support Services: Provides guidance and technical assistance for educators in numerous fields, including student mental and behavioral health.
NJ Children's System of Care (PerformCare): The single point of access to a wide array of behavioral health, intellectual, and developmental disability services as well as substance use treatment for youth and families throughout New Jersey.
Division on Civil Rights: Protects the people of New Jersey from discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
This list is intended to serve as a first step in finding the help you or a loved one may need. For additional help, call the ADRC hotline at 1-877-222-3737 to talk to a professional who can use their expertise to point you in the right direction. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.