Department of Disability and Aging merges with other departments

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Special to the State Gazette

NASHVILLE, Tennessee

The Department of Disability and Aging officially becomes the newest cabinet-level state agency, effective Monday, July 1, 2024.

Governor Bill Lee signed the Disability and Aging Act into law in April, which merged the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD). The new department is responsible for the oversight of services and supports to more than 1.5 million older adults and Tennesseans with disabilities.

"This is an exciting day for people with disabilities and older adults across Tennessee,” said DDA Commissioner Brad Turner. “We are committed to working tirelessly to advocate for the people DDA serves and ensuring we are doing everything we can to support them to live the lives they envision for themselves.”

The new department provides services to thousands of people across Tennessee through a variety of programs for both older adults and people of all ages with disabilities.

These services include:

*Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) for children ages birth through age five

*Part B of the Katie Beckett Program for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the age of 18

*Home and Community Based Services through Medicaid Waivers for people with intellectual disabilities and the OPTIONS program for older adults and adults with physical disabilities

*Nutrition Services and Medicare Benefits Counseling for older adults through the state’s nine area agencies on aging and disability (AAAD)

*Family Support Program

*Medicaid Alternative Pathways to Independence (MAPS)

*Long Term Care Ombudsman

DDA provides these services through more than 1800 employees and hundreds of community-based providers.

More information about these services and other programs can be found on the new department website at www.tn.gov/disability-and-aging.

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