Busting the Myth that Waiver Slots are Full

Child detective with a magnifying glass bending over text that reads Busting the myth that waiver slots are full.

Although it’s true that Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) waiver programs are not an entitlement, it’s a MYTH that there are no openings. In fact, all DDA Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs are enrolling eligible DDA clients.

The Who, What and How of Waiver Enrollment

DDA has five HCBS waiver programs: Individual Family Services, Basic Plus, Core, CIIBS and Community Protection Waivers.  Each waiver program is designed to serve a specific group of individuals, based on their assessed need. Waivers offer a variety of community-based services.

They are called waivers because individuals waive a federal rule that provides services in an institutional setting (such as Residential Habilitation Centers).

If your family member is a client of DDA, they (or you, as a legal representative) can request a waiver program at any time. They can even request a waiver more than once if needed.

If an individual is already on a waiver, and that particular waiver program is not meeting their needs, they are able to request a different waiver that will meet that specific need. They do not need to wait for an annual assessment to request services to meet their needs.

Reasons to request a waiver can include:

  • a change in the person’s physical health;
  • a change in the person’s life;
  • a need for employment services;
  • the caregiver becomes unable to meet the person’s needs.

What happens after an eligible client requests a waiver service:

  • A DDA Case Manager will conduct a functional assessment. DDA’s waiver review committee determines if the request and functional assessment meet waiver eligibility criteria.
  • If approved by the waiver review committee, financial eligibility will be reviewed.
  • If found financially eligible, the person meets with the DDA case manager for service planning.

Be Proactive: Ask!

A DDA eligible client cannot be considered for waiver services if they (or their representative) don’t ask. Be sure to let DDA know if there’s a need, or if needs or circumstances with current caregivers change. Service and Information Request phone numbers and online form.


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