Supportive Living

Supporting individuals with developmental disabilities to live in their own homes within their own communities. 

In the state of Washington, residential programs got their start in 1979 when Community Living was one of the first to pilot a program serving individuals in their own homes. Currently, Washington State has over 120 supportive living providers supporting over 4,000 people with developmental disabilities. Individuals in these programs receive individual training and support ranging from a few hours per week to 24 hours per day. This training and staffing support is based on the complex needs of the individual and based upon the state's Support Intensity Scale. From this assessment a rate of staffing hours is developed, and may include professional services such as skilled nursing and interpreters.

Individuals placed in programs have Case Managers from the state of Washington's Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). Case Managers help identify the needs of each individual and monitor support the individual is receiving by the supportive living provider. All supportive living programs must follow compliance regulations as outlined in the state's Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and DDA policy directives.  Supportive living programs receive unannounced certification evaluations at any time, but at least biannually.

Services to individuals are paid through a contract with the state, and the rate per hour (benchmark) is determined by the state legislature. The funds received by the agency pay for staffing hours (wages and benefits), transportation, and administrative costs. The individuals receiving services do not directly pay for these costs. 

Individuals receiving services typically pay for their own daily living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, clothing, and recreation (costs can be reduced by having roommates). These costs are typically paid for by the individual's own Social Security benefits, their earnings and state food and medical benefits.

For more information on transitioning into the community go to http://www.familymentorproject.info/resources.html or click here for the Transition to the Community Handout.


To be eligible to receive supportive living services through a state contract, the individual should be assessed by DDA for their eligibility for waiver services.  Once this has been completed, and it is determined the individual is eligible, individuals and their families can request to interview supportive living programs for availability and compatibility.

To get started, contact your nearest state Developmental Disabilities Administration office. If you have questions about services or the eligibility process, you may contact our Branch Directors from any of our branches. They will be happy to provide guidance and assistance.