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Frequently Asked Questions
What waiting list is changing?
Ohio’s DD waiver waiting list for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) has changed. This waiting list includes Level One, Individual Options (IO), or Self-Empowered Life Funding (SELF) waivers administered by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).
Why has the waiting list changed?
Simply put, the old waiting list operation did not work. The process needed altered for many reasons, but most importantly, to identify those who have a current (within twelve months) unmet need and attempt to pair them with resources or alternative services as available. People with developmental disabilities and their families have repeatedly stated that the old DD waiver waiting list was overly complex and in need of simplification. The old waiting list confused people with disabilities and their families, misled advocates, and hindered efforts by policymakers to direct resources to where they are needed most.
Why is it better?
The new waiting list process individually identifies those who have a current need for waiver services through the uniform statewide use of the Waiting List Assessment Tool. The same tool assesses a person’s needs across county lines to ensure consistency throughout the state and to clarify the waiver enrollment process.
Does the new rule ensure people will now receive a waiver?
No. The new rule only changes the operation of the DD waiver waiting list. By doing so, the DD waiver waiting list is a more efficient, transparent, and effective process for identifying the immediate or current needs of a person. These needs may be met through a variety of resources that may or may not include a waiver.
If a waiver is not available, do people now have to accept placement in an intermediate care facility before being placed on the waiting list?
No. Nothing in the new rule compels a person to accept placement in an intermediate care facility if they choose to receive their services in a home and community-based setting.
Will people get IO Waivers faster?
No. However, their local county board will assess their needs and connect them to resources in the county to meet the person’s needs, if available. If available resources in the county cannot meet the person’s needs, the county board will add the person’s name to the new DD waiver waiting list and will identify the waiver that addresses the unmet need.
If someone currently has a waiver, could this process take it away?
No. There is nothing in the new rule that would allow a waiver to be taken away based on the results of the Waiting List Assessment Tool.
What happens if someone has an emergency?
If at any time, a person is in an emergency situation, they may contact their local county board. The county board is required to address the needs of people who present an emergency situation. The services offered to mitigate the risk may or may not be a waiver. The new DD waiver waiting list will identify these situations as people having an immediate need.
What happens if someone has an unmet need for services?
If a person has an immediate or a current unmet need for a service in the next twelve months, they should contact the local county board where they live and request the uniform statewide Waiting List Assessment Tool be completed.
What if a person’s needs change and they need something else in the future?
The new DD waiver waiting list gives people the option to ask for help when they need it and requires county boards to follow up with people on the new waiting list regularly. If their needs change at any time, the person or their guardian may contact their local county board and request the statewide Waiting List Assessment Tool be re-administered.
When will people on the transitional waiting list be assessed?
Many county boards will administer the Waiting List Assessment Tool to each person who is receiving service and support administration on the transitional list during their next scheduled ISP review. County boards will administer the Waiting List Assessment Tool to each person residing in their county whose name is included on the transitional list by December 31, 2020.
A person is already on the transitional waiting list. How will the new process affect their place in line?
Every person on the transitional waiting list for a DD waiver will receive a statewide assessment via the Waiting List Assessment Tool. This assessment will determine if they have a current unmet need that qualifies them to be placed on the DD waiver waiting list. Until the person is assessed, their placement on the old waiting list will not change.
How long will the assessment take?
The Waiting List Assessment Tool will be administered as a conversation with the person or their guardian in order to best understand and address their needs. While each conversation will be different, it is expected that the assessment will take at least one hour to complete.
What if the person disagrees with their assessment?
Due process will be available to a person who disagrees with the results of the Waiting List Assessment Tool. Due process shall be provided in accordance with section 5160.31 of the Revised Code and Chapters 5101:6-1 to 5101:6-9 of the Administrative Code.
What does immediate need mean? How will a person know if they have one?
An Immediate need means a person is in a situation that creates a risk of substantial harm to themselves, their caregiver, or another person if action is not taken within 30 calendar days to mitigate the risk. If at any time, a person or their guardian thinks that they have an immediate need, they may contact their local county board and request an assessment using the Waiting List Assessment Tool. The county board is required to address the needs of people who present an emergency situation. The services offered to mitigate the risk may or may not be a waiver.
What does current need mean? How will a person know if they have one?
A current need means a person has a qualified unmet need within twelve months, as determined by their county board based upon the results of the Waiting List Assessment Tool. Once it is determined that they have a current, unmet need and the county board can provide them with alternative resources to meet the need, the person will not need to be placed on the DD waiver waiting because their needs have been met. If it is determined that they have a current, unmet need and no community-based alternative services are available to meet that need, the person will be placed on the waiting list for a home and community based services waiver.
If a person is assessed to have a current, unmet need within the next twelve months and community-based alternative resources can meet that need, does that guarantee they will be offered a waiver within the next twelve months?
No. Because community-based alternative resources can meet their need, they do not need access to waiver funding and will not be placed on the waiver waiting list.
If a person is assessed to have a current, unmet need within the next twelve months and is placed on the DD waiver waiting list, does that guarantee they will be offered a waiver within the next twelve months?
No. However, the county board will continue to work with them to address their needs using alternative resources, as available, and will maintain contact with them to plan for possible enrollment.
Can a person be on the waiting list in multiple counties?
No. The new rule eliminates this concept, as there is one waiting across the state. The local county board where the person lives will be responsible for managing their place on this list.
What happens when a person on the DD waiver waiting list moves from one county to another?
The person, or their guardian, will notify the receiving county board of their move and the receiving county board will review the person’s Waiting List Assessment Tool within ninety days to determine if the person has a current need that cannot be met by alternative community-based resources in the receiving county. If the person continues to meet the qualifications for a current need, the receiving county board will update the person’s county of residence without changing the status date assigned by the previous county board.
The old waiting list was subjective and constantly changing. Will the new process address this issue?
Yes. In the old system, the placement on the waiting list and the order of enrollment was continually changing due to multiple factors (relocations, status category changes, county priorities, etc.). The new waiting list operation creates a more efficient, objective, and transparent queue based on need.
How will the waiver order of enrollment be determined using the new Waiting List?
People selected for county board-funded DD waivers will be enrolled in this order (the earliest of either the status date or date of request from the old waiting list shall take precedence in instances where two people meet the same enrollment status):
Old Waiting List - New Waiting List
General Waiting List - Current Needs Waiting List
Priority Categories - Multiple Criteria for Current Need
Emergency Status - Immediate Need
Request to be on the Waiting List - Assessed and have a Current Need
Date of Request - Status Date
County by County Process - Statewide Waiting List Assessment Tool
Alternative Services - The various programs, services, and supports, regardless of funding source, other than home and community-based services, that exist as part of the developmental disabilities service system and other service systems.
Community-Based Alternative Services - Alternative services in a setting other than a hospital, an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, or a nursing facility.
Current Need - An unmet need for home and community-based services within twelve months, as determined by a county board based upon assessment of the person using the Waiting List Assessment Tool.
Immediate Need - A situation that creates a risk of substantial harm to a person, caregiver, or another person if action is not taken within thirty calendar days to mitigate the risk.
Status Date - The date on which the person is determined to have a current need based on completion of an assessment of the person using the Waiting List Assessment Tool.
Transitional List - The list which shall include the name and date of request for each person on a list of persons waiting for home and community-based services on the day immediately prior to the effective date of the new rule.
Waiting List Assessment Tool - The instrument developed for purposes of making a determination of a person’s eligibility to be added to the waiting list for home and community-based services.
People with Disabilities and Family Members
County Board Members or Employees