OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

What is the purpose of the agency?

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) supports people with developmental disabilities to ensure their safety, well-being, and self-sufficiency by helping them live, learn, and work in their communities.

Who is eligible to receive services?

Agency clients include individuals who have or are at-risk of having intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, or Prader-Willi syndrome (these disabilities are specified by law in s. 393.063, Florida Statutes). To be eligible for services, a person must have a confirmed diagnosis of a developmental disability prior to age 18 years.

What services are provided?

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities provides services to eligible individuals in home and community-based settings, state-run developmental disability centers, including the APD Forensic Services Program, and intermediate care facilities.
  • Home and Community-Based Settings. Individuals in the community may live in their own home, a family home, or group home. The needs of people in the community range from requiring minimal or limited support to needing more extensive support to remain in the community. During Fiscal Year 2017-18, the agency served 36,453 individuals in the community who were active on the iBudget waiver.
  • Developmental Disability Centers. Some adults with developmental disabilities cannot be well served in home or community settings and therefore reside in state-run institutional settings. The two state-run developmental disability centers, located in Gainesville and Marianna, provide structured care 24 hours per day, including social outings, team sports, therapeutic hobbies, trade-skill development, and employment in a campus-like setting. During Fiscal Year 2017-18, the centers provided services to an average daily population of 696 individuals.
  • Forensic Services Program. Developmental disability centers also provide secure residential services for individuals who have been charged with a serious crime and who have been found by the court to be incompetent to proceed through the court process due to a developmental disability. These individuals are provided competency training and custodial care at the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program in Chattahoochee. Additional secure beds for those committed under s. 393.11, Florida Statutes, are located at the Pathways Program at the Sunland Center in Marianna and the Seguin Unit at the Tacachale Center in Gainesville. During Fiscal Year 2017-18, the Forensic Services Program provided services to an average daily population of 127 individuals.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities. Intermediate care facilities provide health and rehabilitative services to individuals with developmental disabilities in a protected residential setting. Services include ongoing evaluation, service planning, 24-hour supervision, and coordination and integration of health and rehabilitative services.Individuals served in intermediate care facilities tend to be the most severely disabled, e.g., those requiring respirators and feeding tubes. These settings are designed to provide the highest level of intervention and supports. During Fiscal Year 2017-18, Florida intermediate care facilities provided services to an average daily population of 569 individuals.

How do people apply for services?

People who have or might have a developmental disability may apply for services by completing an application for services and hand delivering or mailing it to the agency's local area office where the applicant lives.

What limits apply to program services?

A primary goal of the agency is to improve the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities by helping them to live and work in the most integrated setting possible in their community and avoid institutional placement. To accomplish this goal, the agency administers an individual budget (iBudget) system. In addition, consumers are offered the Consumer-Directed Care Plus program option, which allows them to direct their own care and develop a purchasing plan to manage their allocated monthly budgets to meet long-term care needs.
The iBudget system, as described in s. 393.0662, Florida Statutes, was established in order to provide clients and their families flexibility to choose the services that best allow them to live in their community within the limits of an established budget and also to improve financial management of the waiver program.  The iBudget system uses an algorithm allocation and methodology to provide individual budgets for clients enrolled in the Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver program.
Under the iBudget system, waiver services are grouped in eight service families. In order to enhance client choice and flexibility, the iBudget system allows clients to shift funds in order to make service changes within and across certain service families. Changes for specific service families require APD area office review before funds can be shifted to other services. In addition, the iBudget system allows a client who spends less than anticipated funds on services during one quarter to carry those funds forward to the next quarter and apply them to other services. Funds may not be carried forward to the next fiscal year.
The iBudget system allows the state to receive federal Medicaid matching payments for services provided to developmentally disabled persons in the community. Because there are not enough home and community-based services waiver slots to serve all eligible persons, the agency maintains a waitlist of individuals who have requested services. As of June 2019, the agency reported 21,661 individuals requesting enrollment in a waiver that could not be enrolled. During Fiscal Year 2017-18, 193 individuals with critical needs on the waitlist the opportunity to enroll in the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver and receive services in their local communities.

How does the agency track performance?

The agency tracks key performance measures in its Long Range Program Plan. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the agency reported that 98.5% of people receiving services met key health, safety, and quality of life measures, exceeding the approved standard of 77.9%. The agency also reported serving 4,480 clients via supported living, which did not meet the agency's goal of serving 5,600 individuals. The agency attributed this to a change in how it counts supported living services; previously the agency counted individuals in both supported living and independent living in this category.  In addition, the agency reported that 39% of clients were employed in integrated settings, exceeding the approved standard of 27%.

How are these activities funded?

The Legislature appropriates additional funding to the Agency for Health Care Administration for services through intermediate care facilities.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions


Funding for Agency Services. The 2019 Legislature authorized funding for several agency services, including, rate increases for service providers and supported employment services.
  • Rate Increase for Service Providers. The Legislature authorized $28.7 million in funding for a uniform rate increase for direct care residential habilitation providers.
  • Supported Employment Services. The Legislature authorized $900,000 for supported employment services for individuals on the iBudget waitlist. Supported employment services provide training and assistance to help support individuals in job development and sustaining paid employment at or above minimum wage.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on agency operations are available on its website.
Agency Reports, Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Websites of Interest
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Agency for Persons with Disabilities, iBudget
Florida Family Care Council
Disability Rights Florida
Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.
The Arc of Florida
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 393, 400, and 916, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 850-488-4257 or 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273)