To be considered eligible for Defiance County Board of DD services the developmental disability had to have manifested before the age of 22 and include lifelong intellectual or physical disabilities. The steps below outline the process of qualifying services.

After Hours/Weekends

In the event of an after hour emergency or crisis to have an SSA paged, you can contact,



Step 1 – Call

Call (419) 782-6621 and ask for the Eligibility Department. If the person is younger than 3, contact Help Me Grow at (419) 782-6934.

Early Intervention

Referrals into the Defiance County Board of DD’s early intervention program are coordinated by the Help Me Grow Office. Once a referral is made to the Help Me Grow Office, screenings and a developmental assessment are done to determine if the infant or toddler has a delay. The written evaluation will discuss the child’s strengths and needs. A family assessment is also done to help determine what the family’s strengths and needs are in relationship to the infant or toddler.

To contact the Help Me Grow Office for further information or to inquire about services, please call 419-782-6934.

Preschool & School Age Programs

Referrals for entrance into Good Samaritan’s preschool and school age programs must come from the school districts. Eligibility criteria is based upon the special education rules of the Ohio Department of Education.

Step 2 – Provide Proof of Disability

The most recent school, medical, and psychological reports may include proof a person has a disability. Families are asked to gather these records. Guardians will need to provide Probate Court records showing their proof of appointment.

Step 3 – Visit and Interview

If the records confirm a disability, the Eligibility Department will schedule a meeting with a Service and Support Administrator (SSA). They will meet with you, your family member or a support person. The OEDI (Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument) or the COEDI (Children’s Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument) will be used to determine your eligibility.

State rules require Eligibility staff to determine if your family member has limitations in several life skill areas, depending on age. Life skill areas include mobility, communication, learning, self-care, self-direction, independent living and economic self-sufficiency.

Eligibility is redetermined at ages 3, 6 and 16. This means you or your family member might not always be eligible for services. You have the right to appeal if you do not agree with the results of the eligibility review.

Step 4 – Eligible or Not Eligible

Our goal is to complete the process in 45 days, but this depends on how quickly the family or support person provides records confirming a developmental disability. You will receive a letter in the mail stating if you are eligible to receive services or not.

If eligible, services can begin. If not, staff will help you find other options.