The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program provides funding for a wide range of support services for people with developmental disabilities.
The Journey to Securing Waiver Services
There are two waivers for individuals with developmental disabilities: the Family Supports (FS) Waiver and the Community Integration and Habilitation (CIH) Waiver.
The FS Waiver is the basic entry point for waiver services. Those who receive the FS Waiver work with a support team to develop a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan (PC/ISP) for services with a maximum annual cost cap of $17,300. There is a wait list for the FS Waiver, so individuals and their families should apply early even if they are not sure the extent of services they will need or want.
The CIH Waiver has more specific needs-based eligibility criteria than the FS Waiver, and you must be in a priority category to qualify. The annual budget available with the CIH Waiver is based on factors such as the individual’s needs and living situation.
There are several steps along the way to receiving the support services you need, which are outlined here:
To begin the journey, contact the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) for an application packet. Northeast Indiana residents are in BDDS District 3, and the office can be reached at 260-423-2571. District 3 serves Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties. Consult the BDDS district map for information on other counties.
In addition to the Application for Developmental Disability Services, the process requires documentation of diagnosis, a Level of Care assessment and other evaluations.
If you are determined to be eligible, you will be placed on a waitlist. Your position on the waitlist is based on your date of application, however 18- to 24-year-olds who have finished school and dependents of active-duty military members and veterans do have priority status.
You will receive a letter from BDDS when an FS Waiver slot becomes available for you. To check your status and ensure that BDDS has accurate contact information, visit the BDDS Waitlist Web Portal to verify or update your information. When you receive notification that a slot is available, you will have 30 days to accept or decline the waiver slot. If you decline, you will be removed from the waitlist.
When you accept the waiver slot, a BDDS service coordinator will schedule an intake meeting to review information and reestablish Level of Care. After all assessments have been made, BDDS will provide a pick list of case management companies (CMCO) that are approved by the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) in your county. Once the pick list is provided, you will have five calendar days to choose a case manager.
After choosing a case management service, you will work with your case manager and support team using the Person-Centered Planning process to identify your interests, needs and goals. This will lead to development of your Person-Centered/Individualized Support Plan (PC/ISP), which identifies the services and supports that will be used to help you pursue your goals. Your case manager will use that plan to create a Plan of Care/Cost Comparison Budget (POC/CCB) for review by a waiver specialist at DDRS.
Your case manager also will provide a pick list of providers for those services and supports included in your plan. Some providers offer just a few services while others have a much broader range of offerings. Depending on what is included in your PC/ISP you may find that one provider can meet all of your needs, or you may want to choose different providers for different services.
Although your case manager can explain the services and supports that are available and help you develop your plan, it is up to you to choose the provider for each service. As you begin to compare providers, think about what is important to you and your family. You can often learn about providers by visiting their websites and social media. If you have friends or family who receive services, ask about their experiences. Those steps can help you narrow your list, but talking with an intake coordinator or other contact at each provider will be the most helpful step in determining how they can meet your specific needs.
When a waiver specialist approves your Plan of Care/Cost Comparison Budget, a Notice of Action (NOA) will be sent to your case manager, BDDS, and your selected service providers to let them know that you may begin services. Your case manager and service providers will help you get started.