MI Habilitation Supports Waiver Program

Published on
July 18, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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Learn about the Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) in Michigan, an intensive home and community-based, active treatment and support program designed to empower individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to lead more independent lives.
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The Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) is a program that provides active treatment and support to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The program is designed to help these individuals develop skills that will enable them to live as independently as possible in community-based settings.

Overview of Habilitation Supports Waiver Program

The Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) in Michigan is a Medicaid waiver initiative crucial in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The program's primary goal is to provide comprehensive and person-centered services that facilitate the development of essential skills, enabling care recipients to lead more independent lives within community-based settings.

HSW aims to address the unique needs of each individual, fostering personal growth, self-reliance, and community integration. Care recipients receive specialized assistance in daily living tasks, communication, mobility, and social interactions through intensive home and community-based active treatment and support services.

Moreover, the program recognizes the significant role of family caregivers in the care and support of individuals with IDD. By providing family caregivers with training, resources, and financial compensation for their vital services, HSW acknowledges their essential contributions to the healthcare system.


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Eligibility requirements for the Habilitation Supports Waiver Program

To qualify for the Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) in Michigan, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria to ensure that the program's resources are directed toward those requiring them. The eligibility requirements include:

  1. Residency: Applicants must be legal residents of Michigan.
  2. Age: The program typically serves individuals who are 18 years of age or older. However, exceptions may be made for individuals transitioning from youth services.
  3. Intellectual/Developmental Disability (IDD): Applicants must have a diagnosed intellectual and/or developmental disability which significantly impairs their adaptive functioning and daily life skills.
  4. Level of Care: Eligibility for the HSW program often requires individuals to meet a specified level of care, indicating their need for substantial support and assistance.
  5. Financial Eligibility: There may be income and asset limits for eligibility, but these can vary based on individual circumstances. The program aims to support those with limited financial resources.
  6. Nursing Facility Level of Care: In some cases, applicants must demonstrate that they would otherwise require care in a nursing facility if not for the HSW services.
  7. Functional Assessment: A comprehensive functional assessment is typically conducted to evaluate the individual's specific needs and determine if HSW is the appropriate level of support.

The specific eligibility criteria and requirements may be subject to change. Caregiving families and individuals interested in applying for the HSW program should consult with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or a designated agency to get the most up-to-date information and guidance on the application process.

Services and supports

Under the Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) in Michigan, a wide range of services and supports are offered to enhance participants' independence, promote community integration, and improve their overall quality of life. Some of these services include:

  1. Supported Employment: Assisting individuals with IDD in finding and maintaining integrated employment opportunities.
  2. Out-of-Home Non-Vocational Habilitation: Providing support and skill-building activities outside the individual's home to promote independence.
  3. Prevocational Services: Preparing individuals for future employment through vocational training and skill development.
  4. Respite: Offering temporary relief for family caregivers, enabling them to take breaks from caregiving responsibilities.
  5. Enhanced Medical Equipment & Supplies: Providing necessary medical equipment and supplies for individuals with complex health needs.
  6. Enhanced Pharmacy: Offering additional support for medication management and pharmaceutical services.
  7. Goods and Services: Providing essential items and services to meet the unique needs of individuals with IDD.
  8. Community Living Supports: Assisting individuals in living independently in community-based settings.
  9. Environmental Modifications: Making necessary adaptations to the home environment for improved accessibility and safety.
  10. Family Training: Providing training and resources to support family caregivers in their role.
  11. Personal Emergency Response System: Offering a system to call for help in emergencies.
  12. Private Duty Nursing: Providing skilled nursing care for individuals with complex medical needs.
  13. Overnight Health and Safety Support: Offering support during overnight hours to ensure the health and safety of individuals.
  14. Fiscal Intermediary: Assisting with financial management for participants who self-direct their services.
  15. Non-Family Training: Providing training to individuals and non-family caregivers to enhance their ability to support individuals with IDD.

It's important to note that the availability of specific services and supports may vary based on individual needs and preferences. The HSW program emphasizes a person-centered approach, tailoring services to meet the unique requirements of each participant. This commitment to individualized care aims to maximize the potential of individuals with IDD, fostering their independence, self-determination, and active participation in the community.

Compensation for caregivers

The HSW Program in Michigan provides compensation for unpaid family caregivers. Family caregivers must meet specific requirements and go through an application process to access compensation. These requirements may include:

  1. Designation as a Qualified Caregiver: Family members must be designated as qualified caregivers for individuals with IDD, indicating their role in providing substantial care and support.
  2. Training and Certification: Caregivers may need specific training and certification to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the participant's needs.
  3. Service Plan Approval: The participant's individualized service plan, developed in collaboration with the caregiving team, must be approved, outlining the types and amount of care required.

The compensation process usually involves caregivers submitting regular documentation of the care and support they provide. This documentation may include time logs, care notes, and other relevant reports.

The compensation amount is often determined based on the level of care needed and the number of hours the caregiver dedicates to the participant's support. The HSW program aims to ensure that family caregivers receive fair compensation for their contributions.


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Limitations and challenges

While the Habilitation Supports Waiver Program (HSW) in Michigan is a valuable resource for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families, it may face certain limitations and challenges. One such challenge could be the availability of resources and funding, which might impact the program's capacity to serve all eligible individuals. Additionally, the eligibility criteria and application process may sometimes be complex, potentially causing delays or difficulties for families seeking support. Moreover, as with any program, ensuring consistent and high-quality care across different providers and settings could be an ongoing challenge.

A note from Givers

Caregivers deserve fair compensation for their invaluable work. If you are a family caregiver in Michigan, we invite you to complete this form to determine your eligibility for caregiver compensation.

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