People with Developmental Disabilities, Office for

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The mission of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is to help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives. The agency’s vision is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities enjoy meaningful relationships with family, friends, and others in their lives; experience personal health and growth; live in homes and fully participate in communities of their choice.

Budget Highlights

The 2014-15 Executive Budget recommends over $4.4 billion in All Funds appropriations ($1.8 billion General Fund; $2.6 billion Other Funds) for OPWDD to continue to support a comprehensive system of care serving the more than 126,000 persons with developmental disabilities and their families. This is a decrease of $224 million from 2013-14 appropriations, primarily due to the elimination of excess capital projects appropriations. The Executive Budget recommends a year-end workforce target of 18,293 full time equivalent (FTE).

OPWDD continues to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its operations and the network of not-for-profit providers it oversees and financially supports. Budget actions will promote cost efficiency, streamline operations, and restructure programs and services. The Executive Budget also defers the planned 2.0 percent annual human services COLA.

Governor Cuomo has taken substantial steps to ensure the health and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities in the State's care, and to improve the overall quality and cost-effectiveness of State services. Significant actions include:

  • Transitioning individuals from segregated settings, such as developmental centers, intermediate care facilities and sheltered workshops to more integrated, community-based support systems.
  • Refocusing the service delivery system through OPWDD's Front Door initiative, a comprehensive, consistent, and person-centered needs assessment process.
  • Exploring new options for community-based services and housing opportunities by participating in the New York State Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program and the Balancing Incentive Program.

In addition, OPWDD is seeking authorization from the Federal government to make changes that will improve care coordination of long-term care, acute and behavioral health care services for individuals with developmental disabilities, increase the flexibility of services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities, increase funding transparency, and improve overall service quality and outcomes.

To ensure that OPWDD delivers the most integrated and cost effective services possible, the Executive Budget supports ongoing plans to downsize institutional programs by including additional resources to fund more integrated and appropriate service opportunities in the community, including the transition of roughly 300 individuals from segregated settings to more integrated community settings. The Budget also reflects continued efficiencies and other savings actions via attrition, as well as stricter controls on non-personal service (NPS) spending.

The Executive Budget also provides opportunities to ensure that individuals can be relocated back to New York from out-of-state placements, and that in-state and out-of-state providers receive the appropriate level of payments for providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Specifically, the budget clarifies that individuals who have aged out of school will receive funding for appropriate day, rehabilitation and care management services rather than “tuition” payments, and ensures that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are used as intended to cover costs for individuals in residential settings. The budget also includes reforms to encourage more integrated community employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.

For more information on this agency's budget recommendations located in the Executive Budget Briefing Book, click on the following link:

Briefing Book – Mental Hygiene (PDF)

Category Available
Change From
State Operations 2,083,852,000 2,035,615,000 (48,237,000) 2,478,000
Aid To Localities 2,390,141,000 2,334,083,000 (56,058,000) 487,000
Capital Projects 168,950,000 48,910,000 (120,040,000) 648,065,000
Total 4,642,943,000 4,418,608,000 (224,335,000) 651,030,000

Program 2013-14
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
Central Coordination and Support
Special Revenue Funds - Other 613 613 0
Community Services
Special Revenue Funds - Other 14,083 14,083 0
Institutional Services
Special Revenue Funds - Other 4,188 3,468 (720)
Research in Mental Retardation
Special Revenue Funds - Other 129 129 0
Total 19,013 18,293 (720)

Note: Most recent estimates as of 01/20/2014

Click for additional detailed appropriation tables