VA Family and Individual Support Waiver

Published on
August 30, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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Learn about the Family and Individual Support Waiver in Virginia, a Medicaid program that supports people with developmental disabilities and their families.
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See If You're Eligible

The Family and Individual Support Waiver (FIS) is one of the three Medicaid waivers in Virginia that provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The FIS waiver helps individuals who need moderate support to live in their own homes or with their families and participate in their communities. 

Overview of the Family and Individual Support Waiver

The FIS waiver is a home and community-based services (HCBS) program that allows individuals with developmental disabilities to receive services and supports that would otherwise be provided in an institutional setting. The FIS waiver promotes independence, choice, and inclusion for individuals and their families. The FIS waiver serves individuals on the waiting list for the Developmental Disability (DD) waivers, which provide more intensive levels of support.


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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the FIS waiver, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Virginia resident
  • Be eligible for Medicaid
  • Have a diagnosis of developmental disability
  • Have an individual support plan (ISP) that identifies the need for FIS waiver services
  • Have an income that does not exceed 300% of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit rate
  • Have resources that do not exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple
  • Meet the level of care criteria for intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID)

Services and Supports

The FIS waiver offers various services and supports tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences. Some of the services and supports available under the FIS waiver are:

  • Assistive technology
  • Community coaching
  • Community engagement
  • Crisis support
  • Environmental modifications
  • Family and caregiver training
  • Personal assistance
  • Respite care
  • Therapeutic consultation
  • Transition services

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Compensation for Caregivers

One of the benefits of the FIS waiver is that it allows individuals to choose who provides their services and supports, including family members or friends. This option is called self-direction or consumer-direction, giving individuals more control and flexibility over their care. Self-direction applies to personal assistance, respite care, and community coaching services under the FIS waiver. Individuals who choose self-direction can hire, train, supervise, and pay their workers, using a fiscal agent to manage their funds. This means that family caregivers can be compensated for providing care to their loved ones under the FIS waiver as long as they meet the qualifications and requirements set by the program.

A Note from Givers

If you or your loved one is on the waiting list for the DD waivers, you may be eligible for this program that can help you access valuable resources and supports. To determine if you qualify for caregiver compensation under a Medicaid waiver, please fill out this form, and we will contact you soon.

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