If you are caring for a loved one with a developmental disability in New Hampshire, you may be wondering if there is any financial assistance available to help you with the costs and challenges of caregiving. The answer is yes, there is a Medicaid program that can provide you with various services and supports, and even pay you for the care you provide. This program is called the Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW).
Here, we explore the DDW, who can qualify for it, its benefits, and how it can compensate family caregivers.
The DDW is a Medicaid program that provides home and community-based services (HCBS) to individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, or developmental disabilities of any age who meet an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID) level of care 1. The DDW is designed to help these individuals live independently in their homes or other community settings rather than in institutions.
The DDW is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS) in collaboration with 10 area agencies that serve as local points of contact for applicants and participants. The DDW operates under a federal waiver authority that allows the state to customize its Medicaid services and eligibility criteria to meet the specific needs of its target population.
The DDW serves about 4,000 individuals in New Hampshire and has an annual budget of about $300 million.
The DDW recently underwent some amendments that took effect on July 1, 2023. These amendments include updated language regarding compliance with federal regulations related to conflict-free case management and direct billing requirements, updated language surrounding the ability to bill via the organized health care delivery system (OHCDS) for certain services, and updated cost of care language.
To be eligible for the DDW, an individual must meet the following requirements:
The DDW offers various services and supports to help individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their personal goals and enhance their quality of life. Some of the services and supports available under the DDW are:
One of the most attractive features of the DDW is that it allows individuals with developmental disabilities to choose their providers for certain waiver services through the participant-directed and managed services (PDMS) option. PDMS gives individuals more control and flexibility over their waiver services, including hiring, training, supervising, and dismissing providers.
However, PDMS does not allow individuals to hire family members as caregivers. Family members are defined as spouses, parents of minor children, legal guardians of minor children, stepparents of minor children, adoptive parents of minor children, foster parents of minor children, grandparents of minor children, siblings of minor children, adult children of participants age 65 or older who live in the same household as the participant, and spouses of adult children of participants age 65 or older who live in the same household as the participant.
Therefore, if you are a family caregiver who falls under any of these categories, you cannot get paid by the DDW for the care you provide to your loved one. However, you can still get financial assistance from other sources. There may be other programs or benefits that can help you with the costs and challenges of caregiving.
If you want to find out if you are eligible for the DDW or any other program that can pay you for caregiving, please fill out this form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are here to help you get the support you deserve.