These services may help an individual at any age remain living at home or within their community instead of an institution or residential placement.
Medicaid will count family income and resources in determining eligibility. However, a person with a disability under age 21 may qualify regardless of parental income and resouces for what is known as a "waiver."
The name refers to the fact that Medicaid requirements regarding parental income are "waived" when the local Department of Social Services district is determining a disabled person's eligibility.
Two waivers used by people with developmental disabilities in New York State are the Home and Community-Based Services and Care at Home (CAH) Waivers.
Medicaid Waiver Services include:
Family members and friends may be providers of waiver services if they meet the necessary provider qualifications. Generally, spouses and parents of minor children cannot become paid providers of waiver services.
Olmstead & HCBS Waivers
In the 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. decision, the Supreme Court declared the right of individuals with disabilities to receive public benefits and services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. The Olmstead v. L.C. decision explains Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its regulations.
Medicaid can be an important resource to help states fulfill their obligations under ADA. The HCBS waiver program is a workable option for states to use to provide community-based long-term care, services and supports to qualified Medicaid eligible recipients.
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia offer services through HCBS waivers, and Arizona operates a similar program under section 1115 research and demonstration authority. There is no federal requirement limiting the number of HCBS waiver programs a state may operate at any given time. There are now approximately 290 active HCBS waiver programs in operation throughout the country.
Medicaid Waiver or HCBS Waiver Resources
The Medicaid Waivers and Demonstrations List contains information about state-specific Medicaid waiver and demonstration programs. Users can access fact sheets, copies of proposals, approval letters, and other documents related to specific programs.
HCBS.org is the site of the Community Living Exchange Collaborative Clearinghouse which shares information, tools, and resources across the many states and local entities providing services and supports reflecting the needs and preferences of persons of all ages with disabilities.
The National Association of State Medicaid Directors provides a listing of all Medicaid waivers by State on their website. Learn what services are available for your child or loved one in your state.
Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waiver Information offers the latest summary report of all HCSB waivers and a broad overview of programs organized by target groups.
The Kaiser Commission provides an online database you can use to review or compare services and benefits in other states.
Medicaid Benefits by Service
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