Youngkin proposes allocating $300 million in funding for Virginians with developmental disabilities

Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposed budget will receive an additional $300 million to support priority one waiver slots for Virginians with developmental disabilities and those currently on the waitlist, according to an announcement made by his office on Wednesday.

The Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin reports that there is a current waiting list for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Developmental Disability (DD) waiver slots in Virginia, with over 3,400 individuals on the priority one list.

Developmental disability waivers provide assistance and services to individuals of all ages who are covered by Medicaid. The specific services offered are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual and are determined by the eligibility requirements of the program.

John Littel, Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources, emphasized the transformative impact of waivers in improving the lives of individuals. Whether it is covering the costs of in-home care or providing assistive technology to enable independent living outside of institutions like hospitals or nursing homes, these waivers have the power to make a significant difference.

The waivers reportedly encompass a wide range of services, including medical care, employment supports, community living assistance, behavioral interventions, and more.

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Governor Glenn Youngkin’s “Right Help, Right Now plan” has received additional funding to address the shortcomings and overwhelming demands of Virginia’s behavioral health care system. This funding serves as a supplement to the existing plan, which aims to rectify the inadequacies within the system.

“Today, I am thrilled to announce that we are making significant progress towards our objective of offering sufficient priority one slots to individuals who urgently require services by the end of my term,” expressed Youngkin. “With these enhancements, we are empowering Virginians with disabilities to access the necessary support and services, enabling them to thrive and lead fulfilling lives within their communities.”

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DD Waivers are jointly administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) and the Virginia Department of Medical Assistant Services (DMAS). These waivers, including Building Independence for individuals aged 18 and older, Family & Individual Support, and Community Living, are allocated based on the specific needs of each individual.

Around 3,400 individuals are currently on the priority one waiting lists, indicating that they require the services and supports provided by the waiver within a year or less.

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