Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Department of Human Services (DHS) launched a Community Living Waiver effective January 1 to make services available to approximately 1,000 more individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) or autism in the commonwealth.
“Since I took office I have been committed to expanding access to care, getting people off of waiting lists for care and increasing home and community care,” Governor Wolf said. “These waivers are a means to reduce the waiting list and provide people with high-quality care in their communities without a lot of bureaucratic red tape to make that happen.”
DHS administers multiple Medical Assistance waivers so Pennsylvania can provide supports and services for people in their own communities with federal funds that would otherwise be available only for institutional services. Waiver programs offer an array of services and benefits from a choice of qualified providers that offer in-home supports, durable medical equipment and medical supplies, and home modifications.
The Community Living Waiver will support individuals to live more independently in their homes and participate more fully in their communities through services that support independent living, employment in a competitive job, and full engagement in community activities.
“The goal of the waiver is to provide eligible Pennsylvanians with a disability and their families access to high-quality services,” said acting DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “People with disabilities want to have a good life, to live and work in their communities, like everyone else.”
The waiver services are available to individuals who have an intellectual disability or autism and have been determined eligible through application to the local county assistance office for people with ID and autism.
“This waiver will help foster more opportunities for individuals with a disability to thrive in our communities, and our society will be richer as a result.” Governor Wolf said. “Although there is still work to be done, I am proud that DHS is creating opportunities and initiatives to help individuals throughout the commonwealth live happy and healthy lives in their location of choice.”
The Community Living Waiver is one of numerous initiatives developed to implement Governor Wolf’s enacted fiscal year 2017-18 budget, which provides $26.5 million to serve more people in the community and strengthen Pennsylvania’s support for adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
Other initiatives include moving people from state centers to home and community-Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Services to People with Disabilities to Reduce Waiting List based services, serving more individuals with intellectual disabilities, adults with autism spectrum disorders, and eligible individuals with autism on the intellectual disabilities waiting list, and investing in bio-behavioral units for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism.
For more information on the Community Living waiver, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.