June 2019

Understand the Developmental Disability (DD) Waiver Program

Virginia revamped its developmental disability Medicaid waiver program in 2016. The reasons for the change are summarized in the proposed regulations.

  1. Provide community based services for individuals with significant medical and behavior support needs.
  2. Expand opportunities that promote smaller, more integrated independent living options with needed supports.
  3. Enable service providers to adapt to federally required community integration mandate.
  4. Comply with Settlement Agreement between the Commonwealth and federal government.

What are the new DD Waivers? There are three:

Building Independence Waiver - supports adults 18 and older who are able to live in their communities and control their own living arrangements with minimum supports.

Community Living Waiver - is a comprehensive waiver that includes 24/7 residential support services to those who require this level of support.

Family and Individual Supports Waiver - supports individuals with disabilities who are living with their families or friends, or in their own residences. It will support individuals who have some medical or behavior needs and is open to children and adults.

Access to the DD Waivers is through the local Community Services Board in every County or City in Virginia. Individuals should apply as soon as they can because there is a wait list for the DD Waiver. Priority is given to those at risk to their health and safety and/or the health and safety of the caregivers. The assigned social worker will help assess the priority status of each applicant.

Why should you apply for the DD Waiver? The DD Waiver is the major program in Virginia for all individuals with developmental disabilities. There is no other program that provides the panoply of programs and supports. Virginia has moved away form institutional care and now relies on these community based care programs to support the developmentally disabled.

Edward Zetlin Law is experienced in Elder Law and Special Needs Planning issues. Don't hesitate to call if you face such an issue or if you have additional questions. Edward Zetlin Law would be happy to discuss. Please contact us at 703-379-0442 or e-mail at

Community Presentations in June 2019. Ed will present a Medicaid Waivers Workshop at the Autism Society of Northern Virginia Office (10467 White Granite Drive; Oakton, VA 22124) on Saturday, June 8th at 10:00am. Please RSVP the office ASNV Office at

Contact us at (703)379-0442;

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