Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS)


Woman with a pink blouse smiling beside flowers vaseA Measure for Success

What is the Supports Intensity Scale?

The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) is a list of items that focus on the supports needed for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be successful. The SIS results will give useful information for creating Individual Support Plans (ISP) because it gathers information about an individual’s support needs.

The Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) - Adult/Child

  • is a national assessment tool designed by experts for people with I/DD disabilities ages 5 and older
  • identifies and measures the supports needed for an individual to successfully participate in various life activities
  • is conducted through a positive and complete interview process every two years for children and every three years for adults.

Who receives an SIS® assessment?

All individuals receiving services through the NC Innovations Waiver must receive an SIS. The SIS gives very valuable information to us and to you.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires Individuals who participate in a Medicaid waiver to have a valid, comprehensive assessment. NC Medicaid uses the Supports Intensity Scale-Adult Version® (SIS-A®) to fulfill this requirement for individuals 16 and older. The SIS-A® was created to measure the supports a person needs to be successful in their life. Since 2016, each person receiving Innovation Waiver services has participated in a Supports Intensity Scale Assessment. In February 2022, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) announced that SIS-A® was renormed, to include modern language and to gather additional information.

Since 2016, Sessions Law 2011-254 required each person on the Innovations Waiver to receive a support budget. NC Medicaid has contracted with the Human Services Research Institute to evaluate the support budget model to decide whether any changes will be needed to better support individuals on the Innovations Waiver as we move into the next version of SIS-A® 2nd edition.

Beginning October 1, 2023, as part of SIS assessments, SIS interviewers will start asking SIS Advance questions. The advance questions reflect the addition to SIS-A® 2nd Edition. The answers to these questions will not print on the SIS Family Friendly Report or affect the individual’s level and tier. The sole purpose of asking these questions is data collection. The information collected will help inform decisions as we move forward. NC Medicaid plans to transition to SIS-A® 2nd Edition in Fall of 2024.

Page last verified on