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Children’s Choice Waiver

The Children’s Choice Waiver began February 21, 2001, to offer supplemental support to children with developmental disabilities who currently live at home with their families or with a foster family 0 through 20 years of age.

The Children’s Choice waiver (CC) program provides services in the home and the community to individuals 0 through 20 years of age, who currently live at home with their families or who will leave an institution to return home.

This waiver provides an individualized support package with a maximum cost of $16,410 per year and is designed for maximum flexibility.

Youth who reach the age of 18 and want to work may choose to transition to a Supports Waiver as long as they remain eligible for waiver services.

Youth who continue in the Children’s Choice Waiver beyond age 18 will age out of the Children’s Choice Waiver when they reach their 21st birthday. They will transition to the most appropriate waiver that meets their needs as long as they remain eligible for waiver services. This program is not intended to provide 24 hours a day support.

To qualify for the Children’s Choice Waiver, a person must:

  • Meet Louisiana Medicaid eligibility
  • Are 0 through 20 years of age
  • Have an OCDD Statement of Approval
  • Meet the Louisiana definition for developmental disability with manifested before age 22 (Revised Statue 25:451.2, Paragraph (11)
  • Meet Intermediate Care Facility-Intellectual Disability (ICF-ID) Level of Care Criteria

Additionally, interested persons must meet the following financial criteria:

  • The income limits (also known as Special Income Limit (SIL) are $2,250 for an individual and $4,500 for a couple (when both spouses need long-term care)

However, there is a “Waiver Spend-down” option, which allows your eligibility to be considered even if your income is over the limit. Waiver Spend-down has a standard $20 income deduction. $65 and 1/2 of the remainder is also deducted from all earned income.

After the income deductions are applied, the average monthly waiver rate and other allowable incurred medical expenses are used to “spend-down” an individual’s excess income, qualifying the individual for Waiver. Allowable incurred medical expenses include Medicare and private health insurance premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, or copayment charges, and medical/remedial care expenses incurred by an individual that are not subject to payment by a third party.

The individual’s liability is based on their income after the income deductions are applied. All individuals are allowed to retain a basic needs allowance from his/her income which is equal to $2,250 and the amount of incurred medical expenses not paid by a third party. Any remainder will be the individual’s liability for the cost of care in Waiver Spend-down.

Individuals who need services should contact their local Human Services District/Authority to go through the eligibility determination process. Once a person is eligible for OCDD services, they may ask to be placed on the Developmental Disability Request for Services Registry (RFSR).

As each individual is added to the RFSR, the individual is screened to determine their urgency of the need for services. An individual, who meets the eligibility criteria, is the highest urgency priority category(s) being served based on funding, and has the earliest RFS date, will be offered the next available OCDD waiver opportunity that meets their needs.

The application process does not begin until a waiver slot becomes available. At that time, medical and financial determinations will be completed simultaneously to verify that the person has a developmental disability and meets the financial and medical/psychological requirements for an Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF-DD).

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