Indiana Family Supports HCBS Waiver

What families need to know about this waiver that helps pay for special need services.

The Indiana Family Supports HCBS Waiver is available to individuals and families who qualify, and can be a wonderful support, both with care and finances. Christine Hennessy, Family-to-Family Network Director for Family Voices Indiana, offers information on this important waiver.

What is the Indiana Family Supports HCBS Waiver?

The Family Supports Waiver allows for home and community-based services to individuals with an intellectual/developmental disability diagnosis. Waiver services complement or supplement the services available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs, as well as the supports that families and communities provide.

The waiver provides a designated amount of funding (currently $17,300 per year) to be spent on person-centered supports and services. The individual and their support team plan the services that will best assist the individual with achieving success.

Who qualifies?

Individuals with a diagnosed (prior to age 22) developmental or intellectual disability. The disability or limitations are determined to continue indefinitely. They must meet a level of care which notes a substantial functional limitation in three or more of six major life areas. The individual applying for the waiver services must also meet Medicaid eligibility criteria. (For minors, only their personal assets and income are considered when determining eligibility.)

How can families apply if they believe they qualify?

Families should contact their local Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services district office ( to request an application. You can also apply online at

If applying online, the application must be completed in one sitting. There is no option to save and return to the application. The main page includes a list of information that will need to be included in the application, so they may gather everything before getting started.

What does the waiver pay for?

The waiver offers a wide range of services which can be chosen based on the person-centered planning process. Common services include respite, music therapy, recreation therapy, behavioral supports, family and caregiver training, home and environmental modifications, specialized medical equipment and more.

What else should parents know?

There is a lot to know about waiver and available resources for children with disabilities. It can be very overwhelming to navigate the information. Families should not “write-off” the waiver due to concerns over eligibility criteria for the waiver or Medicaid. If they have a need, they should apply and discuss their concerns with the BDDS service coordinator or trusted sources.

Family Voices Indiana has several health information specialists who have navigated waiver services, and can offer more clarity specific to a situation. These services are free to families. Find fact sheets and other need-to-know info about the Indiana Family Supports HCBS Waiver at

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