10 Ways a Virginia Developmental Disability Waiver Can Assist Your Loved One

One of the most critical action items for parents is to have their loved one placed on the Developmental Disability (DD) wait list. As of today, over 13,000 Virginians are waiting for a DD waiver. Unfortunately, many parents and caregivers don't realize the importance of a waiver and the many services that are provided through them. There are three waivers that fall under the umbrella of a Developmental Disability waiver, including the Community Living Waiver, Family & Individual Supports Waiver & the Building Independence Waiver. Today, we will detail ten critical services that a waiver may provide:

  1. Personal care assistance. Many people with developmental disabilities need assistance with every day activities, such as preparing meals, using the restroom, showering, getting dressed, and taking medications. Personal care assistance services allows for an agency or a person hired by the family or individual (through consumer-directed models) to help complete these everyday tasks. All three of the DD waivers provide for personal care assistance.

  2. Transportation. Some managed care organizations provide non-emergency Medicaid transportation, which allows for transportation to and from a Medicaid paid service, such as a medical appointment, or day program. Transportation options do vary, so it is important to check with each managed care organization to see what services are available.

  3. Medical supports. Many people with Developmental Disabilities have medical conditions that require consistent care. Examples include skilled nursing, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and general health supports. DD waivers the opportunity for medical care that is consistent with the care they require. Medical supports are provided through each of the three DD waivers.

  4. Job supports. Did you know that a person with a Developmental Disability who wants to work can receive added supports while on the job? This service is provided through the DD waivers. Job supports can include finding a job, creating a resume and learning employment skills. Additionally, job supports can include 1:1 coaching once a person is employed to help them learn their job. Job supports are available each of the three DD waivers.

  5. Respite. Everyone needs a break, especially parents and caregivers of people with Developmental Disabilities. Respite is a set of hours that parents and caregivers can utilize to ensure their loved one is taken care of while taking an overnight trip, a vacation, or an afternoon at the movies. Respite services are available through each of the three DD waivers.

  6. Home modifications. Sometimes, a person with a Developmental Disability needs a special ramp, tub, or shower to make sure they can complete everyday tasks. In addition, modifications may be available to a primary vehicle. Home modifications are available through each of the three DD waivers.

  7. Residential supports. There are several residential supports available through the DD waiver. Options include group homes, shared living, sponsored residential.

  8. Group homes. Group home supports are continuous skill-building supports, including safety and social supports. These supports are provided up to 24 hours a day by paid staff. Multiple individuals with developmental disabilities can live in a group home. This support is only offered under the Community Living waiver.

  9. Shared living. Shared living supports are available through the Community Living, Family & Individual Supports & Building Independence Waivers. This service is when a person with a developmental disability lives in the same household as a person without a disability. This person provides supports such as companionship, social and recreational supports and security for the person with a Developmental Disability. Minimal supports with daily living activities are allowable. The person who provides the shared living service receives compensation in the form of Medicaid paying for their share of rent, utilities and food costs.

  10. Sponsored residential services are available through the Community Living Waiver. These services can be provided up to 24 hours a day and focus on skill-building, socialization, adaptive skills and self-help skills. Many people refer to sponsored residential services as similar to adult foster care services. Up to two individuals with a developmental disability will live with a host family, participating in every day activities, vacations, traditions and more.

  11. Day programs. Day programs are available through the Community Living, Family & Individual Supports & Building Independence Waivers. Day programs offer people with Developmental Disabilities opportunities to learn new skills, and participate in community activities, such as field trips, volunteering, and unpaid work experiences that will help the person learn skills that could lead to paid employment.

  12. Crisis supports are available through the Community Living, Building Independence and Family & Individual Supports Waivers. Crisis supports include coaching, developing new techniques, identifying community resources, and stabilizing the crisis situation. These can be offered in the person's home and community, or a facility. Prevention, intervention & stabilization are all services offered through the Crisis Supports option.

  13. Benefits planning services are available through each of the three DD Waivers. Benefits planning services allow an individual with a developmental disability the opportunity to learn how working may impact his or her Medicaid & SSI benefits.

Those are just ten of the services offered through the DD Waivers in Virginia. If you'd like to learn more, visit https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cYSDNb58t-kK4CrhBcI3xa4tQUWn6rzU/view, or contact The Arc of NSV.


The Arc of Northern Shenandoah Valley

PO Box 124

Middletown, VA 22645

P: 540.692.9650

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