What is Home & Community-based Services (HCS)?
The Home and Community-based Services is a waiver program that provides individualized services and supports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities who are living with their family, in their own home or in other community settings, such as small group homes with no more than 4 people.
What Are Waivers and How Do They Work?
A waiver is a provision in the Medicaid program that allow states the flexibility to use Medicaid funds to provide service in community settings as an alternative to institutional settings for people with disabilities or special needs.
They are named waivers because certain Medicaid eligibility requirements are waived and doesn’t apply to the program. All is based on just the child’s income alone not the whole family’s income.
The benefits of home and community-based services
Prior to the creation of waiver programs, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities had to live in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutional setting. Home and community-based services allow Medicaid beneficiaries to receive assistance and services in their own homes or communities.
Some of the services a beneficiary can get with a waiver are: assistance with daily living, Nursing care, Minor home modifications, Respite care, Certain therapies. These services allow the them to live independently in their communities and play active roles in societies.
Some of the qualifying diagnoses for the home and community-based program include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, autism, or a similar condition.
The application process to enroll in the waiver program
To apply for the waiver care program, expect a bit of a lengthy and time-consuming process. Many individuals apply, and the number selected and cared for is limited. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should simply give up and not apply.
Home and Community-Based Services Waivers
Waivers are one way to pay for services that help people with developmental disabilities live their lives. The department administers three different types of waivers. The Individual Options, Level One, and Self-Empowered Life Funding waivers each have different spending limits and offer some different services. By braiding together multiple funding sources, such as local county board of developmental disabilities levy funds and Ohio Medicaid benefits, a person with developmental disabilities may be able to have their service needs met without a waiver.
Contact your kocal county board of developmental disabilities if you need additional supports to see if they can be provided through a waiver or other resources. Or visit the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities online at http://dodd.ohio.gov/CountyBoards/Eligibility/Pages/AssessmentTools.aspx for information on how to enroll in a waiver program. You can also call them at 1-800 617 6733.
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