Note – due to the recently revised website for the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, some of the links are not available. The Arc of VA is in the process of updating the links to the DBHDS website.
Virginia launched its new Developmental Disabilities (DD) Medicaid Waiver Program on Sept. 1, 2016. The DD Waiver Program is in a period of transition as it implements many system changes.
The Building Independence Waiver, the former Day Support Waiver, is one of the three Developmental Disability Waivers. It has new eligibility requirements, services, reimbursement rates and other changes. It serves adults 18 years and older who own, lease or control their own living arrangements. Individuals have rent subsidies that are not waiver funded.
Adults (18+) receiving the Day Support Waiver as of August 31, 2016, receive services from the Building Independence Waiver. Children receiving the Day Support Waiver as of August 31, 2016 receive services from the Family & Individual Support Waiver.
The Building Independence (BI) Waiver provides services and supports in the areas of community engagement, employment, day services, residential, behavioral, crisis, medical, assistive and Smart Home technology, environmental modifications and more. Click to view the Building Independence Waiver Services, Descriptions with side by side of all DD Waiver services.
- NEW CHANGES to Building Independence Waiver for those under age 21 using Assistive Techology, now under EPSDT Services. View Webinar View Webinar Handout
If you are interested in applying for the Building Independence Waiver and are not already on the waiting list or receiving the Family and Independence or Community Living Waiver, then go to “Medicaid Waivers” to find out how to apply for the Building Independence Waiver in the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program.
- Age 18 years and older and have been screened by your local Community Services Board.
- Meet the Definition of Developmental Disability.
- Meet the VIDES screening criteria. Click to view the VIDES for Adults. Every year, individuals using the BI Waiver are re-screened with the VIDES to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for the waiver.
- Meet Adult monthly income limit of $2,205.00 and resource limit of $2,000.00.
- Qualify and maintain Medicaid eligibility. To utilize the waiver and to maintain the waiver you must be qualified for Medicaid. Click to view how to Apply for Medicaid by phone, online or at your local Department of Social Services. It is very important that you renew your Medicaid eligibility annually through your local Dept. of Social Services. If you move be sure to notify your local Dept. of Social Services of your new address.
Case Management/Support Coordination with Choice of Case Manager
- Case management services are provided by your local Community Services Board (CSB) or another organization approved by your local CSB.
- You have a choice of case manager/support coordinator within the Community Services Board.
- You may request to change your case manager at any time.
- You may request to receive services from another Community Services Board or another organization approved by your local CSB .
Supports Intensity Scale or “SIS”
Individuals receiving the waiver have their support needs assessed with the Supports Intensity Scale or the “SIS”. It measures needs in the areas of home and community living, lifelong learning, social activities, health, safety, employment, protection and advocacy. The interview questions focus on the support(s) you need if you were to do activities like any other person of the same age living in the community without a disability.
The SIS assessment is performed by Ascend, a contractor for the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services. Participants at the SIS assessment in addition to you and your case manager, may include family, friends, service providers and others who know you well.
The SIS is performed at the time of receiving a waiver and it is performed every three years thereafter for individuals 16 years and older. It is performed every two years for children up to age 16. If there are significant changes in the your/the individual’s condition, a new SIS assessment may be requested.
The SIS uses a formula to assign a SIS Score and a Support Level for ADULTS. The Support Level determines the reimbursement rate paid to your service providers. Your case manager will provide you with your SIS report and your Support Level. Click to view the Support Levels.
Only SIS procedures may be reviewed. There is no appeal process. The SIS procedures (not score) may be reviewed if there is evidence that the VA Standard Operating Procedures were not followed. Click to view details about the SIS Review Process.
For more info about the SIS click and scroll down to “Regional Support Unit”.
Support Levels, Tiers and Reimbursement Rates
There are seven supports needs levels for adults determined by the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) and Supplemental Questions. The support levels are tied to four reimbursement tiers to pay service providers. Click to view the Support Levels and Tiers.
Some services (group home, sponsored residential, supported living, independent living, group day, community engagement and group supported employment) are reimbursed according to tiers. This process provides greater reimbursement for smaller settings and for supporting individuals with more intensive needs.
Click to view the Reimbursement Rates for waiver service providers.
Services and Support Options in Building Independence Waiver
Click to view more detail about the Building Independence Waiver Services, Descriptions with side by side of all DD Waiver services.
Note that not all services are available in all areas of the state.
Individual Support Plan with Person-Centered Planning
Your Individual Support Plan (ISP) sets out the supports, services and actions to be taken during the year by each service provider to achieve your desired outcomes. Your case manager plans and coordinates the ISP meeting time with you. Others who are important to you such as family, friends and service providers may participate at the meeting.
Your needs, preferences and desires are the basis of your person-centered ISP. You have right to choose the services and supports you desire to meet your aspirations, health, safety and other needs. A list of qualified providers should be provided to you. You may visit, interview and research providers. You may decide how and when services will be provided in the most integrated setting of your choosing.
Click to learn about the Person-Centered Individual Support Plan and scroll down to the Person Centered Plan tab.
Click to view the Waiver Services with a side by side comparison of the services in each of the waivers.
See Important Note re: Access to Services below.
Changing Services and Waivers
You may want to add or change the Waiver Services you are receiving. You may request a change at any time. New interests, preferences, age, housing, health and family conditions may require that you change your services within the waiver you have OR you may need to move to another waiver. When you need changes in services or waivers, discuss this with your case manager and request the changes you want.
The VA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services manages the Reserve Waivers that allow you to move from one waiver to another waiver.
Important Note re: Access to Services:
- You have the right to receive any service in the DD Waiver program that helps you to live, learn, work, or recreate in the most integrated setting that meets your support needs.
- You have the right to receive services in non-disability specific settings (meaning in the community where anyone with or without a disability would go).
- If you are having trouble accessing integrated services, for any reason including a lack of providers, the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has a team of Community Resource Consultants tasked to trouble-shoot access issues, and Regional Support Teams tasked to trouble-shoot unresolved access issues and record data.
- If you have complex support needs, either medical or behavioral, the Complex Case Consultation Team will help trouble shoot complex access issues, including negotiating a reimbursement rate to providers to cover the cost of care.
- If you are unable to access services, ask your case manager to contact your local Community Resource Consultant (CRC) to help troubleshoot.
Appeal Rights: You have the right to challenge decisions and actions regarding Medicaid and waiver services. An Appeal must be requested within 30 days of the decision or action that you disagree with. Click to view Medicaid Appeal information.
Regulations: Click to view the Developmental Disability Waiver Waiver Emergency Regulations starting on p. 97.
Are you interested in moving to your own “place” (house, apartment, etc.)? Maybe you want to live by yourself or with a friend or have a “live-in” aide. Housing Vouchers and Rental Assistance are financial assistance programs to help pay for your housing costs (rent, utilities). Flexible Funds provide assistance for other costs associated with moving and getting your place furnished. Talk to your case manager about housing vouchers, rental assistance and flexible funds. For more information click here and scroll to “Housing” in the middle of the page.
Keeping You Informed
- Information Presentations: The Arc of Virginia is available to make presentations about the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program with partnering organizations. The free presentations provide information for individuals, families, educators, service providers and other stakeholders about changes including eligibility, services, prioritization levels, waiver allocation process, etc. To request a presentation email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (804) 649-8481 x 104.
- As Virginia continues its implementation of the DD Waiver Program, The Arc of Virginia will update information as it becomes available on this website. The VA Departments of Behavioral Health & Behavioral Health (DBHDS) and Medical Assistance Services(DMAS) are still transitioning the system and developing processes to address the changes.
- Information Calls: The Virginia Departments of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services(DBHDS) and Medical Assistance Services(DMAS) provide Wednesday Waiver Redesign Information Calls about the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program for individuals receiving or waiting for a waiver, families, services providers and all other stakeholders. Information is provided and questions from callers are answered. Click for the schedule.
- Call the VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services: 1-844-603-9248
- Website click VA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services