What Programs Are Available To Assist People With Disabilities in Ohio?

Is there a Medicaid waiver program in Ohio? Ohio has several waivers including:

  • Home Care;
  • Passport;
  • Individual Options;
  • Choices;
  • Assisted Living;
  • Transitions II Aging Carve Out;
  • Transitions DD;
  • Level One

What state department handles the Medicaid waiver program in Ohio? The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is responsible for overseeing a statewide system of supports and services for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

What programs assist people who have developmental disabilities in Ohio? The Medicaid waiver programs that assist persons with disabilities in Ohio include the: Individual Options; Level One; and Self Empowered Waivers. To receive waiver services, an individual must be eligible for Medicaid, have a developmental disability, and have a limitation in one or more of the major life activities such as self care, learning, mobility, self-direction and capacity to live alone.

What is the best number to call to get started? To learn more about Ohio's Medicaid Waiver call (800) 617-6733. They can also refer you to your County Board of Developmental Disabilities. To enroll for services, You will need to contact your local County Board of Developmental Disabilities. (Ohio has 88 counties in all, and 88 county boards). When you call, ask to speak to the person who handles “Intake”.

Is there a website? http://dodd.ohio.gov

Who Qualifies For Assistance?

What is considered a developmental disability in Ohio? The term “developmental disability” is defined by Ohio Rev. Code §5126.01.

Are there income limits to receive waiver services in Ohio? Yes, the person must meet income requirements and Medicaid’s resource limit. In 2013, a person's countable income must be less than $2,130 and assets cannot exceed $1,500. A parent's income and resources are not included when assessing a minor child's financial eligibility for waiver.

How old do you have to be to start receiving waiver services? People of any age can receive the Individual Options; Level One; and Self Empowered Waivers.

Is There a Waiting List For Services?

How long is the waiting list in Ohio? The waiting lists vary by county. Your “date of request” remains the same even if you move to another county in Ohio. Your position on the waiting list may vary if you are in a priority category and/or if your situation meets emergency status criteria. If your priority score is low, you can expect to wait many years before receiving waiver services in Ohio. Do not let the county board put you on the Long Term Service Planning Registry. It is not a waiting list, and you will not be automatically transferred to the waiting list.

How many people are on the waiting list in Ohio? There are a total of 48,700 people in Ohio waiting for waiver services.

How many people are currently receiving waiver services in Ohio? There are currently 71,068 people receiving waiver services in Ohio.

What assistance is available while you wait? Call the county you live in because they sometimes have additional services available that may not be Medicaid.

Is there priority preference for people who are in crisis? Yes, the county board determines level of need on a case by case basis. If there is critical need, you may not have to wait for waiver services. However, because the waiting lists for the waiver programs are so large in certain counties, if you don't meet emergency status criteria, you may have to wait many years before receiving waiver services. For HCBS waivers, if the resources are available, the law requires a County Board to offer enrollment in this order: 1st Emergencies; 2nd Priorities; last- Everyone else.

What Services Are Offered & What Are The Service Limitations?

What services does the Ohio Medicaid waiver program offer? Each waiver provides different services.
The Individual Options Waiver has the following services: Homemaker/personal care; transportation; respite; supported employment; environmental accessibility modifications; social work/counseling/ nutrition; interpreter; home-delivered meals; adaptive and assistive equipment; day habilitation- adult day support; habilitation - vocational habilitation; supported employment- enclave; supported employment - community; supported employment - adapted equipment; non-medical transportation.
The Level One Waiver has the following services: adult day supports; day habilitation; environmental accessibility & adaptations; homemaker / personal care; personal emergency response system; respite-informal; respite- institutional; specialized medical equipment and supplies; supported employment; transportation; and vocational habilitation.

Does this state offer community group homes? There are many private providers in the state of Ohio that provide services in licensed group homes in residential neighborhoods. These homes serve between 1-5 individuals and are licensed by the Ohio Department of DD.

Ohio law requires the licensure of facilities that provide services to two or more unrelated individuals with DODD. In a licensed setting, a specific provider holds the license to operate the facility for a specific number of individuals at a specific location. Ohio law limits the number of licensed beds that can exist throughout the state, and that capacity has been reached. Therefore, the department of DODD is not increasing the number of licensed facilities.

Does Ohio offer supported living? Yes, Supported Living is a way to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible in their own communities. Services may be provided in the home of the individual, who lives on his/her own, or in the family home in which the individual resides. An individual may share supported living with up to three other individuals in a supported living arrangement.

Are there still state owned institutions? Ohio has ten large state facilities housing 1300 Americans.

How Do You Select A Provider?

Do providers work for the state? No, Medicaid waiver providers are independent and agency providers. Providers are independent business owners who are certified to provide services.

About how many providers are there in Ohio? Ohio has over 1,000 Medicaid waiver providers.

Do you have a choice in providers? Yes, Ohio encourages you to select your own waiver providers.

How Do You Become A Provider?

To become a Medicaid waiver provider in Ohio call (800) 617-6733 for instructions. Persons or agencies who provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities must obtain certification from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Ohio requires a minimum of 30 hours of training to become certified.

Additional Information

Enrollment for DODD’s new SELF Waiver began July 1, 2012. The SELF Waiver is a much-awaited waiver offering services that allow individuals with developmental disabilities who receive support on the waiver to direct where and how they receive those services -- for individuals this is known as ‘self-direction.’ The SELF Waiver has an overall annual cost cap of up to $25,000 for children and up to $40,000 for adults.

OH Providers

Ohio Providers


Lucy Idol Center 440.967.6724
Serving Ohio
Services include Psychological, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Music Therapy, Activity Therapy and Adjunctive Therapy along with Transportation.

Mercer Residential Services (419) 586-4709
Serving Ohio
Provides residential group homes, respite care, affordable housing, homemaker/personal care services, vocational, recreational, and social activities.