HCBS Waiver Programs

Common Pitfalls

Losing eligibility based on your income or resources

Most waiver programs have eligibility rules that include income and resource limits. Make sure your income and resources don’t cause you to lose your eligibility for your waiver.

The rules about income and resources are different for each waiver. If they go up and you work, most waivers may let you qualify through Health First Colorado Buy-In Program For Working Adults With Disabilities (Medicaid Adult Buy-In).

Note: You cannot get Developmental Disabilities (DD) waiver services with the Medicaid Adult Buy-In.

Not checking the waiver’s waitlist

The number of slots for each waiver program is different from year to year. In some cases, there may be a waiting list for the program you want to enroll in.

If you only qualify for one waiver, it’s best to apply right away so you get in line for services.

If you qualify for more than one waiver, you can check if they have waitlists. If your preferred waiver has a waitlist, you can get on that waitlist and then apply for a waiver that you could enroll in sooner. It is possible to switch waiver programs when you get to the front of the line.

Note: The Development Disabilities (DD) Waiver often has a waitlist. People on the DD waiver waitlist may consider the Supported Living Services (SLS) Waiver to meet their needs while they are on the DD waiver waitlist.

Not documenting your medical condition clearly

When you apply for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) and waivers, you need to explain your disability and your level of needs. You should document your medical condition as much as possible. Keep track of your diagnosis, medical appointments, supplies, services, and general independence. Consider starting a journal or having a place where you can write down when something new happens related to your disability.

Not staying on top of paperwork

Fill out and return all forms and other paperwork related to your benefits on time. This includes annual eligibility paperwork for Health First Colorado (Medicaid), waivers, or other similar services. Contact the appropriate agency if you have questions about paperwork or due dates.

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