MN Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver

Published on
July 17, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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Learn how the Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver, a crucial Medicaid program, helps individuals avoid nursing home admittance while advocating for fair compensation for caregivers.
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The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver, formerly the Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals Waiver, provides vital financial assistance to eligible individuals, enabling them to access the services necessary to maintain their independence. This program empowers individuals who would otherwise need to enter nursing homes to continue living in their own homes, with relatives, adult foster care homes, or assisted living facilities.

Overview of the Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver

The primary purpose of the CADI Waiver is to empower individuals with disabilities who would otherwise require nursing home admittance to remain in their homes or reside in other community-based settings. By doing so, the program aims to improve these individuals' quality of life while ensuring they get the assistance they need to maintain their independence as much as possible.

The CADI Waiver targets a specific population: individuals with disabilities who require a level of care typically provided in a nursing home but prefer to receive services in their homes, a relative's house, an adult foster care home, or an assisted living facility. It is a lifeline for those seeking alternatives to institutionalized care, allowing them to access support in a more integrated and community-oriented environment.

The goals and objectives of the Minnesota CADI Waiver revolve around the following:

  1. Community Inclusion: The program aims to foster social integration and community participation for individuals with disabilities, enhancing their sense of belonging and reducing isolation.
  2. Independence and Autonomy: By providing tailored services and support, the CADI Waiver strives to enable participants to exercise greater independence and maintain control over their lives.
  3. Cost-Effective Care: The CADI Waiver seeks to deliver cost-effective care by providing services that help prevent unnecessary institutionalization, saving the state and families from higher long-term care costs.
  4. Person-Centered Care: The program focuses on individualized care plans, ensuring that the services provided align with each participant's specific needs and preferences.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver, individuals must meet specific criteria that ensure they require the level of care typically provided in a nursing home. Here are the essential eligibility requirements for the CADI Waiver:

  1. Disability Criteria: The applicant must have a documented disability that substantially impairs their ability to perform activities of daily living or requires substantial supervision and assistance to prevent harm to themselves or others.
  2. Medical Necessity: A health assessment must demonstrate that the individual requires a level of care provided in a nursing home to remain safely in the community.
  3. Functional Eligibility: The applicant's functional limitations, such as mobility, communication, and self-care, are assessed to determine their eligibility for the program.
  4. Financial Eligibility: There are income and asset limits that applicants must meet to qualify for the CADI Waiver to ensure that the program primarily serves individuals with low income and limited resources. For more information about the income and asset limits, visit the program's website.
  5. Age: Applicants must be under the age of 65.
  6. Residency: Applicants must be legal residents of Minnesota and provide proof of residency.
  7. Choice of Residence: Individuals can live in their own home, a relative's home, an adult foster care home, or an assisted living facility to be eligible for the CADI Waiver.
  8. Level of Care: Applicants must have certification of disability from SSA or the state medical review team. Early-onset Alzheimer's or other dementia may qualify depending on the level of disability. Additionally, the individual must require a higher level of support than offered by Medicaid's Medical Assistance program for low-income Minnesotans.

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Services and supports

The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver offers a range of services designed to meet the specific needs of each participant. The following is an overview of the key services and supports available under the CADI Waiver:

  1. Personal Care Assistance (PCA): Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility.
  2. Homemaking Services: Help with household tasks like cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation.
  3. Skilled Nursing Services: Specialized healthcare services are provided by licensed nurses.
  4. Respite Care: Temporary relief for family caregivers, providing them with breaks from caregiving responsibilities.
  5. Adult Day Services: Structured programs and activities in a community setting for participants.
  6. Supported Employment Services: Assistance with finding and maintaining employment.
  7. Community Residential Services: Support for individuals living in adult foster care homes or assisted living facilities.
  8. Transition Services: Assistance during the transition from nursing homes to community living.
  9. Assistive Technology: Devices and equipment that aid in daily activities.
  10. Independent Living Skills Training: Instruction to enhance independent living skills.
  11. Home Modifications: Adaptations to the home to increase accessibility and safety.
  12. Behavioral Services: Support for individuals with challenging behaviors.
  13. Transportation Assistance: Help with transportation to medical appointments and community activities.
  14. Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS): Empowering participants to manage their services and supports.

The CADI Waiver strongly emphasizes home and community-based services (HCBS) to ensure that individuals can access support in familiar environments while avoiding unnecessary institutionalization.

Compensation for caregivers

The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver does offer compensation to unpaid family caregivers. There are specific requirements to be eligible for caregiver compensation under the CADI program. The caregiver must be a family member, typically a parent or spouse, providing essential services and assistance to the eligible individual. Additionally, the caregiver's services must be authorized and included in the individual's CADI care plan. The compensation amount is based on an assessment of the individual's needs and the level of care provided by the caregiver. Through this compensation, the CADI Waiver acknowledges and supports family caregivers' invaluable contributions to their loved ones' well-being.


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Limitations and challenges

One of the significant limitations of the Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver, like many Medicaid waiver programs, is that the availability of slots may be limited. Due to budget constraints and high demand, there could be waiting lists for individuals seeking to access the program's services and support. This situation can delay receiving crucial care and assistance, potentially impacting the quality of life for those in need. Efforts are continually made to address this issue, but meeting the growing demands for community-based care and services remains challenging.

A Note from Givers

Caregiver pay isn't just about monetary value; it ensures the well-being of caregivers and those they care for. Click here to complete the form and determine your eligibility for caregiver compensation.

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