Developmental Disability Waiver (DD Waiver) – What is it? How do you apply?

Are you thinking about applying for the Developmental Disability Waiver? It can be overwhelming, more than likely you already have so much going on with your kiddo, should you be applying for something else? Yes, I think you should! And here’s why!

Kids are spendy. I don’t know what the average child costs per year but I bet it’s like a billion dollars. HA! And if that’s the case, a kiddo with special needs or a disABILITY must cost a gazillion dollars!! But in all seriousness, the costs start adding up and it’s okay to get help. There are resources out there to help your child live their best life and reach their potential and that’s what we all want right?

The Developmental Disability Waiver helps with items that insurance doesn’t pay for (not even Medicaid/Katie Beckett), items that can help your child live their best life at home or out in the world. It can also help with hiring a support person to help your child reach their goals. It can also help give you a break. But let’s be clear, this money just isn’t handed out to you there are rules, policies, procedures, and training you MUST attend and adhere to in order to be approved for this. It’s a time-consuming process but it’s worth it.

So how does it work?

I don’t want to confuse you or overwhelm you so I’m going to lay out the steps and then we can dig deeper and get into the details!

Step 1 – Apply

You’ll receive the Developmental Disability Waiver application with your forms from Liberty Health (if you applied for Katie Beckett like we did). I didn’t choose to apply at the time, it wasn’t until my son had his SIB-R done that I decided to move forward with the application process for the DD Waiver.  If you choose to apply later I believe they can still process the application and use your child’s SIB-R assessment if it’s been within the year but contact Liberty Health with any questions on that. At this time you will have to choose whether you want to do a Family Directed Plan (the family dictates where the money is spent) or if you would like to go with the state plan that budgets the finances into categories. We chose the Family Directed Plan so that is the process I will be sharing. 

Step 2 – Approved or Denied

You’ll receive a letter in the mail with your approval and budget. If you don’t agree you can advocate for a higher budget or reapply.

Step 3 – Attend Trainings

You’ll be contacted about the two trainings you will have to attend. One is informational where you’ll review the process, it’s a couple hours long. The second one is HOW you get everything done. This one is four hours long.

Step 4 – Hire a Team

This means a Support Broker and a Fiscal Employer Agency (FEA). Remember we’ll go into more details later!

Step 5 – More Training

You’ll attend a training with the FEA you have chosen

Step 6 – Write Your Plan

Your Support Broker will guide you in this process. Having a spouse/partner, family member or therapist help you with this would be great!

Step 7 – Services & Goods Form

You’ll fill out the Services & Goods forms. These forms outline what items your child will need (you don’t need to use the entire budget at once!), find out from your kiddos doctor or therapists what your child needs. They are probably pretty familiar with these forms so they can offer you some great advice.  Services & Goods forms must be signed by a therapist or doctor.

Step 8 – Submit Your Plan

Turn your plan into your Support Broker. They’ll be helping you finalize this process.

Step 9 – Your Support Broker Writes Your Plan

With the information you have given them and the Services & Goods forms you’ve given them, your Support Broker will write your plan.

Step 10 – Plan is Submitted

Once finalized, your Support Broker will submit the plan to your coordinator.

Step 11 – Wait

It could take up to 10 days for your plan to be approved or denied.

Let’s say your plan is approved! Yay!

Step 12 – You wait for the checks from your FEA.

Step 13 – The checks arrived!

You start ordering or submitting payments for the Services & Goods that were approved.

Step 14 – Your kiddo gets what they need! YAY!

Ok I know I know. This probably seems like A LOT right? But keep in mind I’m giving you very detailed steps and you are going to have a great Support Broker whose job it is to help you through this!

So now that we’ve gone through the process here are more articles to help you get started:

Hiring A Support Broker