Helping children remain in their own homes
The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) manages and funds long-term services and supports for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and those who are aging. DADS also licenses and regulates providers of these services.
Many children are able to remain in their own homes and communities instead of going to a nursing home or institution because of the DADS Medicaid Waiver Programs. These programs offer a variety of services. Scroll down to find a list of the programs.
If your child needs more assistance than can be provided in your home, the next step is to go to your Local Authority and tell them your child is at risk of an out of home placement. More supports may be available.
Texas has very long interest (waiting) lists for all Medicaid Waiver Programs. It is critical to call DADS or your Local Authority to get on the interest list. ( A Local Authority offers services in the community for people with intellectual or developmental delays.) Find the contact number for the office near you.
- Put your child’s name on the list as soon as you suspect or know your child has a disability—it can take from 3 to 10 years before you can enter a waiver program
- You don’t have to know if your child is eligible for the programs to get on the list
It is very important to keep your contact information current and respond to letters and phone calls about the lists. Your child may be dropped off the list if your contact information is out of date and letters and phone calls don’t get to you.
Waiver programs waive federal requirements related to the parents’ income. Instead, most programs are based on a child’s income, which helps them qualify for Medicaid and receive services.
Download Texas Long-term Services and Supports Waiver Programs, July 8, 2013 (PDF) to view a comparison of the waiver programs. It includes information about the similarities and differences in services across all the waiver programs. This document will be helpful when your child comes off the interest list and you are asked to select a program.
These quick links from DADS include links to frequently asked questions, information about the interest lists and fact sheets.
Watch a short 6-minute video to learn more about the importance of signing up for a waiver program when a child is young.
Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP) supports families caring for a medically dependent child in their home who is younger than 21 years of age.
Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) provides services and supports for children and adults diagnosed with a related condition. A related condition is a disability, other than an intellectual disability, that originated before age 22 that affects the ability to function in daily life.
Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) is for people of all ages diagnosed with legal blindness; a chronic, severe hearing loss; or a condition that leads to deaf-blindness and an additional disability that results in impairment to independent functioning.
Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) provides services and supports to people of any age with a determination of an intellectual disability and certain related conditions, including Autism.
Texas Home Living (TxHmL) provides services and supports to people with an intellectual disability or a related condition who live in their own home or their family's home. You must be determined eligible for Medicaid services before enrolling in the program. You should be aware that TxHml does consider parental income.
Texas Senate Bill 7, passed in 2013, will make changes to the system that provides health care and long term services through the waiver programs. Learn more about the legislation and the timeline for changes from The Arc of Texas.