Medical Insurance &
Public Benefits



Medicaid Waivers

Support Services Waiver – or simply “waiver” – is a shortened term for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Program created under Title19 of the Social Security. This program provides funding for an array of services and benefits to individuals who might otherwise need institutional care.

The term “waiver” comes from the federal government "waiving," or not applying, certain Medicaid rules which would otherwise require services to be provided in a hospital or institutional setting. The waiver allows services to be provided in the community. Waivers provide home and community-based services to children and adults who meet certain criteria. These services will allow them to remain in their own communities and avoid institutional care.

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Public Welfare administers 11 Medicaid waivers. Each waiver has its own unique set of eligibility requirements and services. In addition, the person must meet limited income and asset guidelines. Financial eligibility for waivers for children age 3 or older is based on the income of the child, not the parent.

Once the person is approved for a waiver, a care plan is established and services can begin. Some waivers have long waiting lists. Waivers are granted according to need and position on the waiting list, not on length of time on the list. Priority is given to individuals whose need for residential placement is critical, such as in the event of the death of a caregiver or closure of the institution where the individual resides.

Medicaid Waivers for Children under Age 21:

Attendant Care/Act 150
Enables individuals with a physical disabilities, ages 18-59, who are mentally alert to continue to live in their homes with support and services.

Community Services Program for Persons with Physical Disabilities (CSPPPD )/OBRA Waiver
Provides services to people 18 or older with severe developmental and physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or similar conditions (onset prior to age 22).

Consolidated Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Provides services to eligible people age 3 or older with intellectual disabilities so that they can remain in the community.

Person/Family Directed Support Waiver
Provides services to eligible people age 3 or older with intellectual disabilities so that they can remain in the community.

Community Services Program for Persons with Physical Disabilities (CSPPPD)/Independence Waiver
Provides services to individuals age 18 and older with severe physical disabilities to allow them to live in the community and remain as independent as possible.

Infant, Toddlers, and Families Waiver
Supports Early Intervention services to children up to age 3 who would otherwise require the level of care provided in an Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities or Other Related Conditions (ICF/MR-ORC).

Obtaining a Medicaid Waiver

If you want to learn more about the Person/Family Directed Support or Consolidated waivers for individuals over age 3 with a diagnosis of intellectual disabilities, your child's Supports Coordinator can assist you. If your child does not have a Supports Coordinator and is eligible for mental retardation services, the first step is to register with the Allegheny County Office of Intellectual Disability at 412-253-1250. Everyone who is registered receives Supports Coordination services. Waiver funding, however, is based on individual needs and available funding.

Information about eligibility, registering, intellectual disabilities waivers, supports coordination and other topics can be found on the Office of Intellectual Disability's Fact Sheets.

Complete information about Medicaid Waivers