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Aged and Disabled Waiver Indiana: Everything You Should Know

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Abby Care
Learn how the Aged and Disabled Waiver Indiana program supports people with significant physical disabilities, including seniors and children, to live independently.

The Aged and Disabled Waiver Indiana program is an important lifeline for people grappling with age-related or disability challenges. The program is run by the Division of Aging (DA) under the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). This program assists elderly, blind, and disabled Indianans to live their best lives independently, right in their own communities.

Starting back in 1981, the program shifted the focus from providing care in institutions to giving people the support they need at home or in their communities. The goal is to provide care in settings that preserve the dignity of individuals and where they feel most comfortable.

While the Aged and Disabled (A&D) waiver primarily targets older adults, it isn’t just for seniors. It is open to people of all ages, including children, who need the level of care you would typically find in a nursing home because of a disability. This provision demonstrates Indiana’s commitment to making sure those with disabilities can get the support they need to live where and how they want, regardless of age.

If you or your child faces challenges due to a disability, Indiana’s Aged and Disabled (A&D) waiver program can lend a hand and help you live life on your terms.

Understanding the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program

Let’s take a closer look at the Aged and Disabled (A&D) waiver program. The program is funded by Indiana Medicaid and offers an alternative to going into a nursing home for adults and people of any age dealing with disabilities. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Definition and Objectives

The A&D waiver program provides eligible individuals with the opportunity to live independently in their communities instead of moving to nurse facilities. It does this through tailored funding and support services, such as community programs and residential assistance. This way, the program empowers individuals to lead their lives on their terms, right where they belong.

Eligibility Criteria

If you or your loved one requires assistance with daily living due to a disability, you may qualify for the Aged and Disabled Waiver Indiana program. To be eligible, you need to meet certain criteria, including:

  • Be eligible for Indiana Medicaid
  • Be elderly (typically 65 years or older), visually impaired, or have a significant disability
  • Not already in a nursing home but living in or transitioning to a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)-compliant environment.
  • Your income shouldn’t be more than 300% of the highest Supplemental Security Income (SSI) amount allowed. Parent’s income won’t be considered for kids under 18.
  • Meet the level of care required for nursing facility placement.

In addition to these criteria, it’s important to understand what is meant by “nursing facility level of care.” It is basically the minimum amount of help someone needs to qualify for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs. This level of care is what you need to get into a nursing home and is checked when you apply for Medicaid and every year after that. Initially, the Area Agency on Aging decides your level of care, and then your waiver case manager checks it yearly.

To meet the criteria for nursing facility level of care, you need to show that you need one of these things:

  • Help with complex medical conditions.
  • Assistance with medical gear like feeding tubes, IVs, or ventilators.
  • Support with special treatments or routines like continuously administering oxygen or severe rehabilitation conditions.
  • Regular check-ups by a doctor because your condition keeps changing.
  • Other significant medical issues.

Application Process and Timeline

When you’re ready to apply, reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to schedule an assessment. During this assessment, a nurse and social worker will look into your needs to see if you qualify for the program. If you’re eligible, the AAA will help you create a plan of care and connect you with service providers in your area.

After enrolling in the Aged and Disability waiver program, you get to select a service provider from a list of approved ones in your area (like Abby Care). And don’t worry; if you ever need to change providers, you can. This is to make sure you receive the support that’s right for you. Also, it won’t cost you anything to enroll. The A&D waiver program in Indiana is funded by Medicaid and is totally free for eligible individuals.

After you’ve applied and determined eligible for the waiver, you might be placed on a waitlist. In some cases, you might have to wait around 12 months or even longer due to funding.

Services Covered Under the A&D Waiver

Once you’re enrolled, you can get all sorts of services designed to help you out at home or in your community. These services include things like:

  • Personal care assistance for daily activities like walking, grooming, toilet hygiene, dressing, and feeding.
  • Homemaker services, such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and laundry.
  • Medication-related support, such as reminders, medication dispensing, and vital checks.
  • Transportation services for medical appointments, local outings, and other necessary trips.
  • Respite care to give caregivers temporary breaks.

Administration and Funding

State agencies, such as the Division of Aging, oversee the A&D waiver program in Indiana. The program is funded by Medicaid and the state, and the focus is on providing top-notch and affordable care that respects individual choices.

Challenges and Needs Specific to Children Within the Program

Children with disabilities and chronic conditions often have special needs that need special care and support, which the A&D Waiver Program should take care of. This means giving them medical treatments, therapies, and education that fit their needs to help them grow and stay healthy.

Families with kids who have disabilities can find it hard to pay for all the medical care, therapies, and help they need. Besides being a lot of money, the emotional toll of constantly caring for and supporting a child with disabilities can be really stressful for families. Sometimes, the A&D Waiver Program may not have all the services families need, like special medical care, help with education, and breaks for the family.

The program needs to create tailored solutions to give special help to kids. It should offer customized care plans, special therapies, help with school, and breaks for the family. This is important to make sure kids with disabilities and their families get the right care and help they need to grow up healthy and happy.


Making child services better in the Aged and Disabled Waiver Indiana Program is important. It ensures that kids with disabilities get the special care they need to do well. When child services improve, it helps kids, families, and everyone in society.

Agencies and stakeholders must keep working on making childcare services better within the A&D waiver program. Abby Care, a great resource for kids with disabilities and their families, can help a lot in this regard. Let’s work together to make sure every child gets the care they need.


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