Assessment for Services

The Division uses a standard assessment to determine eligibility and to help Support Coordinators and providers understand what services are needed.  This information is gathered using the New Jersey Comprehensive Assessment Tool (NJCAT). The NJCAT evaluates the need for support in three main areas: self-care, behavioral, and medical. The results also establish the individual’s tier, which determines the annual budgets that will be available for services.

How is the NJCAT completed?

A trained Division facilitator will schedule a face-to-face meeting (virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic) with you and your guardian, if you have one. It can be helpful to have additional people participate in the meeting who know you and spend time with you – for example, other family members, service providers and caregivers.  You can also look at a sample NJCAT (or sample NJCAT in Spanish) before attending the face-to-face NJCAT meeting.

The facilitator will use a computer to access the NJCAT online, but will ask the questions out loud. You and the other meeting participants can talk about the question and the facilitator will enter the answer based on the consensus of the group.

The facilitator will submit the completed NJCAT electronically to the Rutgers University Developmental Disabilities Planning Institute (DDPI), where the scores are tabulated and the tier is established.

When is the NJCAT completed?

The NJCAT is completed during the initial eligibility application process. For students turning 21 and transitioning out of school, the NJCAT can be completed in the fall/winter of the last year of school.

When will I receive the results of my NJCAT?

The Division will mail a tier letter to eligible individuals within four weeks of the face-to-face meeting. 

If you would like a copy of the questions and answers, you can email the Division’s Fee-for-Service Helpdesk at or request a copy from your Support Coordinator.

How do I request a reassessment if my needs change?

If there are changes in your life that may have affected your level of need for support, you, your guardian or your support coordinator can request to have an NJCAT reassessment. It is important to understand that a reassessment may result in no change to the tier level, a reduction to the tier level, or an increase to the tier level.

To complete a reassessment, you should have an assigned Support Coordinator, as well as a completed Person Centered Planning Tool (PCPT) and NJ Individualized Service Plan (NJISP).

To request a reassessment, submit the Request for NJ CAT Reassessment form by email to or by mail to:

NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities
PO Box 726
Trenton, NJ 08625-0726
ATTN: NJCAT Reassessment Unit