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Delaware seeks to keep the intellectually disabled from ending up in institutions

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The state is promoting a new program meant to help Delawareans with intellectual disabilities to continue living in their family homes.

Delaware’s Division of Developmental Disabilities Services is hosting two educational sessions this month for families interested in applying for the Lifespan Waiver. The waiver allows individuals with disabilities who would otherwise be committed to institutions to remain living in their community and receive Medicaid benefits.

The Division’s Director Marie Nonnenmacher says the program is a better use of state resources.

“We start with the premise that most people want to live in the community and it’s our job to help them have some supports that would enable them to do that,” said Nonnenmacher.

The waivers require an income cap of just over $1900 dollars a month and an asset cap of $2000 in resources.

“Individuals also have to meet what the federal government calls level of care criteria,” said Nonnenmacher. “So it’s basically because these services are offered in lieu of institutional services one has to meet the same level of need for those institutional services, but they can be safely served in the community.”

Those who qualify for the waiver receive benefits based on individual need. These could include respite for caregivers, personal care assisted living and even home or vehicle modifications.

Nonnenemacher says a maximum 2600 individuals can qualify for the Lifespan Waiver in 2020.

The educational sessions are planned for June 25th in Bear and June 26th and Milford.

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