Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)

Individuals receiving the DD Waiver have their support needs assessed with the Supports Intensity Scale or the “SIS”.  It measures needs in the areas of home and community living, lifelong learning, social activities, health, safety, employment, protection and advocacy.  The interview questions focus on the support(s) you/your family member need, if you/fm were to do the activities like any other person of the same age living in the community without a disability.

The SIS assessment is performed by Ascend, a contractor for the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.  Participants at the SIS assessment in addition to you/fm and your case manager may include family, friends, service providers and others who know you well.  The SIS is performed at the time of receiving the Waiver and it is performed every three years thereafter for individuals 16 years and older.  It is performed every two years for children up to age 16.  If there are significant changes in your condition, a new SIS assessment may be requested.

The SIS uses a formula to assign a SIS Score and a Support Level for adults.  The Support Level determines the reimbursement rate paid to your service providers.  Your case manager will provide you with your SIS report and your Support Level (1-7).

Only SIS procedures may be reviewed.  There is no appeal process.  The SIS procedures (not the score) may be reviewed if there is evidence that the VA Standard Operating Procedures were not followed.

Find more information below about the SIS:

What to Expect During the SIS
Information for Individuals and Families about the SIS
Sample SIS Report
SIS Review Process
SIS Annual Report 2017