The New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) offer home-and community-based services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Department of Community Health (DCH) administers Medicaid which delegates the day-to-day operation of the NOW/COMP Waiver Programs to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for NOW or COMP Medicaid Waiver services, a person must have an intellectual disability - or a closely related developmental disability, such as autism, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy - which substantially impairs intellectual or adaptive functioning. The disability must have originated at birth or during the developmental years (by age 18 for an intellectual disability, or by age 22 for a developmental disability).  Complete eligibility information is available in Part I of the DBHDD Provider Manual for Community Developmental Disability Providers.

SERVICES

A list of Home and Community-Based Services and a description of each service can be found on the DBHDD website. These lists do not include institutional services, as institution-based services are inconsistent with the intent and requirements of Section 1915 of the Social Security Act, the requirements established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Georgia’s NOW and COMP waiver policies.

MEDICAID

All Medicaid Waiver services are funded through Medicaid. Information on how to apply for Medicaid is available on the Department of Community Health website.  The family will play an important role in obtaining Medicaid for the individual in need.  The DBHDD Regional Field Offices can provide assistance as needed.  However, DBHDD is not authorized to make Medicaid eligibility determinations.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

If you feel overwhelmed, Parent to Parent of Georgia offers a variety of support services to Georgia families impacted by disabilities or special healthcare needs.

Additionally, to speak to an information specialist regarding access to a variety of aging services, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection, a program of the Georgia DHS Division of Aging Services and Georgia’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging.

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    Application

    • Visit the Georgia Collaborative ASO website to access the Individual IDD Connects portal in order to apply for I/DD NOW/COMP Waiver services. 
    • Review the information needed to submit the application at the link above.
    • There is a 25-minute instructional I/DD Online Individual Application video available here to provide assistance in completing the application process.
    • Create an Individual IDD Connects account to begin the application process. There is a User Guide available to assist in creating your account at the link above. 
      • Important note:  you may begin the application process and log in to your account later to complete the application if necessary.
    • You can upload all required documents for the application via your Individual IDD Connects user account.
    • You may call your Regional Field Office for assistance if needed.
    • You may submit a paper application which is available here.  Once complete please fax or mail it to your Regional Field Office.
      • Important note:  the online application process is preferred as this allows for faster processing of the completed application.  Those applications submitted via paper must be transcribed manually into the online application portal, thus creating delays. 
     
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    Process

    • Application Review
      • The Regional Field Office Intake and Evaluation staff review each submitted application to ensure it is complete.
      • The Regional Field Office staff will contact you if you have completed the application but have not uploaded all required documents. They will also explain what is needed and assist you as necessary.
      • All required information must be received before an application can be sent to a DBHDD psychologist for review.

     

    • Pre-eligibility
      • A DBHDD psychologist reviews each complete application to make a pre-eligibility determination.
      • You may be contacted for more information or for scheduling a face-to-face interview with the psychologist.
      • A letter informing applicants of a finding of pre-eligibility, or a finding of ineligibility is sent when the DBHDD psychologist has made a determination. If an individual is found to be ineligible, a notice including the right to appeal the ineligibility decision will be provided to the individual by postal mail.
      • Final eligibility determinations for those who are pre-eligible are made by an external agency, Alliant-Georgia Medical Care Foundation, as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
     
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    Pre-Eligibility

    • Planning List
       
      • Individuals found pre-eligible are placed on the I/DD Planning List for NOW and COMP Medicaid waivers.
      • The Regional Field Office provides appropriate referrals to state-funded and community-based support for individuals on the Planning List awaiting waiver funding. 
      • Fiscal Stewardship: Because resources are limited and the NOW & COMP waivers are a payor of last resort, DBHDD uses a prioritization process to ensure those people with the highest level of unmet need receive services as funding permits. NOW/COMP Medicaid waivers cannot be used for services that should be provided through other funding sources like the education system, the Georgia Pediatric Program (GAPP), the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), or the Autism State Benefit Plan.
        Diagram showing the process to new service entry

         
      • NOW/COMP Waivers Planning list prioritization: Two key areas are considered in prioritizing individuals for new service entry to NOW/COMP Waiver Services: 1. Health and safety and 2. Caregiver and support system. To further prioritize the lists, the department has implemented the use of an objective tool to capture individuals’ level of unmet need based on functional capacity and the existing support system available to meet those needs. Prioritization is based on need rather than the length of time on the planning list. 
        NOW/COMP Waiver diagram
     
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    Eligibility

    • Eligibility
      • Information on individuals determined to be the most in need of waiver services is sent to Alliant-Georgia Medical Care Foundation for an eligibility determination.
         
    • Funding
      • Those individuals determined to be eligible by Alliant-Georgia Medical Care Foundation will be approved for NOW or COMP Waiver funding.
      • Funding and specific services will be approved based on an individuals’ clinically assessed needs.
    • Individual Service Plan
      • Once an individual has been approved for NOW or COMP waiver funding, a Regional Planning List Administrator works with the individual and family to identify NOW and COMP Waiver service providers and to develop their Individual Service Plan which includes goals and services based on the individual’s strengths, needs, and interests.
      • A list of all approved DBHDD NOW and COMP Waiver providers are available by clicking here
    • Service Begins
      • The individual begins receiving services and following their Individual Service Plan.