Supports Intensity Scale

The SIS assessment is performed by Ascend, a contractor for the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services.  Participants at the SIS assessment in addition to you and your case manager, may include family, friends, service providers and others who know you well.

When is the SIS assessment done?
The SIS is performed at the time of receiving a 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 the your/the individual’s condition, a new SIS assessment may be requested.

Support Levels, Reimbursement Tiers 
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. Click to view the  Support Levels.

There are seven supports needs levels for adults determined by the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) and Supplemental Questions.  The support levels are tied to four reimbursement tiers to pay service providers.  Click to view the Support Levels and Tiers.

Some services (group home, sponsored residential, supported living, independent living, group day, community engagement and group supported employment) are reimbursed according to tiers. This process provides greater reimbursement for smaller settings and for supporting individuals with more intensive needs.

Review, no appeal 
Only SIS procedures may be reviewed. There is no appeal process.  The SIS procedures (not score) may be reviewed if there is evidence that the VA Standard Operating Procedures were not followed. Click to view details about the SIS Review Process.

More SIS information
What to Expect during the SIS
Information for Individuals and Families about the SIS
Sample SIS Report