OH Level One Waiver

Published on
July 13, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
Katie headshot
Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Header image
Discover how the Ohio Level One waiver program empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to receive limited support in their homes instead of in institutional facilities.
Available in:
Presented by Givers
Givers hires, supports, and pays people who are caring for their loved ones.
See If You're Eligible

The Ohio Level One waiver program offers an alternative to living in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID), qualifying eligible individuals to receive limited support while remaining in their homes. The program's significance lies in its commitment to improving independence and encouraging a sense of belonging within the community.

Overview of the Ohio Level One Waiver Program

The goal of the Level One Waiver program is to enhance independence, promote community integration, and improve the quality of life for eligible individuals. It offers an alternative to institutional care by providing limited support to people in their preferred home setting.

The program has specific goals and objectives, including:

  1. Community Integration: The Level One waiver program aims to support individuals in becoming active and valued members of their communities.
  2. Independence and Self-Determination: The program empowers individuals to enhance self-determination, personal decision-making, and independent living skills.
  3. Family Support and Caregiver Recognition: The program seeks to acknowledge caregiver contributions, promote their well-being, and ensure the availability of appropriate compensation options.
  4. Person-Centered Planning: The Level One waiver program adopts a person-centered approach, tailoring services and supports to meet each individual's unique needs and preferences.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Ohio Level One waiver program, individuals must meet precise criteria, including disability-related factors and income limits. Here are the eligibility requirements:

  1. Developmental Disability: The care recipient must have a developmental disability, including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, or other similar conditions.
  2. Level of Care: The person seeking services must require a level of care typically provided in an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID).
  3. Residency: The applicant must be an Ohio resident and a U.S. citizen or have appropriate immigration status.
  4. Age: There is no specific age requirement for the Level One waiver. It caters to individuals of all ages who meet the disability and care needs criteria.
  5. Financial Eligibility: The income limit for this waiver is 300% of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit rate. The SSI federal benefit rate for 2023 is $914 for an individual and $1,371 for a couple. The income limit for this waiver is 300% of these amounts, which is $2,742 for an individual and $4,113 for a couple per month.
  6. Functional Assessment: A comprehensive assessment evaluates the individual's functional abilities, care needs, and required support level.
  7. Choice of Living Arrangement: The care recipient must live in their own home, a family home, or a supported living arrangement instead of residing in an ICF-IID.

Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee immediate enrollment, as there may be a waiting list due to program capacity limitations. Still, people who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply and explore available options for support services while waiting for enrollment.


Can you get paid to care for your loved one?

woman smiling

Services and Supports

The program emphasizes home and community-based services (HCBS) to enhance independence and promote inclusion. Here are some of the services and supports available:

  1. Personal Care Assistance: Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, getting dressing, grooming, and meal preparation.
  2. Respite Care: Temporary relief for caregivers, providing them with short-term breaks from their caregiving responsibilities.
  3. Homemaker Services: Support with household tasks, including cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping.
  4. Transportation: Assistance with transportation to medical appointments, community activities, and employment.
  5. Adult Day Support: Structured daytime programs that offer socialization, skill-building, and community integration.
  6. Behavior Support: Behavioral assessments, interventions, and strategies to address challenging behaviors and promote positive outcomes.
  7. Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies: Provision of necessary assistive devices, adaptive equipment, and medical supplies.
  8. Nursing Services: Skilled nursing care, medication management, and health monitoring.
  9. Supported Employment: Vocational training, job placement assistance, and ongoing support in competitive, integrated work settings.
  10. Therapeutic Services: Access to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology therapies.
  11. Transition Assistance: Support during significant life transitions, such as transitioning from school to adulthood or from institutional settings to community living.
  12. Family Support Services: Information, training, and support for families and caregivers.

Compensation for Caregivers

The Ohio Level One waiver program recognizes the vital role that family caregivers play in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. While the program does not directly compensate unpaid family caregivers, it offers avenues for caregiver reimbursement through its self-directed option. Under this option, care recipients can hire family members as their care attendants.

To access compensation, caregivers must follow specific procedures and meet certain requirements.

  • The individual receiving services must be eligible for the Level One waiver program.
  • Caregivers must complete the necessary paperwork and become certified as personal care attendants (training sessions and certification from the Ohio Department of Medicaid).
  • Caregivers are responsible for documenting the care provided to the care recipient, including tasks performed, hours worked, and any other relevant information.
  • The agency reviews the documentation and, if approved, reimburses the caregiver for their services at an established rate.

While the compensation process involves some administrative steps, it allows family caregivers to be recognized and financially supported for their essential contributions.


Who are you caring for?

Limitations and Challenges

Undoubtedly, the Ohio Level One waiver program has limitations and challenges. Funding constraints can result in waiting lists and delayed access to services for eligible individuals. Due to high demand, there may be waiting lists for enrollment, and some services may have limitations. Additionally, the availability of qualified service providers, particularly in remote areas, may pose challenges in accessing desired services.

A Note from Givers

To determine eligibility for compensation, we invite you to fill out this form and take the first step toward being recognized for your essential work as a caregiver in our healthcare system.

Other programs in your state

Find out how to get paid other states

Givers hires, supports, and pays people caring for their loved ones.
See if you qualify in 60 seconds.
Check Your Eligibility
Share this post
Apply to Get Paid