Summary of Changes at Age 18

  • At age 18, your child becomes a legal adult and has all the rights and responsibilities of an adult. If there are concerns about your child's decision-making ability, conservatorship and guardianship should be considered. This can be important if your child is still enrolled in school, as parents will lose the ability to stay informed or make decisions regarding their child's education once they turn 18 if they are not their child's legal guardians.
  • At age 18, income eligibility for services is based on your child's income and assets, not on the family income. Parental fees for TEFRA no longer apply.
  • Your child's county case manager may change.
  • The IEP Team will decide together whether your child should graduate or should continue in school in a transition program until they reach age 21. See section on Education for more information on transition and graduation.
  • Medical services will begin changing from pediatrics to adult services. Discuss this process with your child's doctor(s) in advance to ensure a smooth transition. There may also be a change in services from pediatric to general hospitals.
  • Your child can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  It may take some time for the information to be processed, so begin working on the application several months before our child's 18th birthday.

Minnesota ID Card

When your child reaches adulthood, he/she should have a formal form of identification. A reduced-fee Minnesota Identification Card (similar in appearance to a driver's license) can be obtained through the Department of Public Services, Driver's Vehicle Services, with a form signed by a doctor or social worker. The cost is only fifty cents. More information on obtaining a Minnesota ID Card can be found here.

A Minnesota ID card can be obtained at any age.

Need help with the transition process?

FutureLife Options (formerly the Lifetime Assistance Program)

Families of people with disabilities often ask themselves, "What will happen to my loved one when I'm no longer here?"  FutureLife Options starts by asking what a good life would be for the person with a disability, then focuses on how to make it happen.

Transition Vision Program

The Transition Vision Program is aobut dreaming and doing.  It starts by helping students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families paint a picture of the future they want.

Washington County Transition Resource Guide