New Opportunities Waiver (NOW)

The New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) is for adults who live with family or on their own.

Please note:

  • This system is changing. You will still hear about the 4 different waivers, but they will soon be  integrated into one.

  • This waiver has recently changed! This waiver is now for people 21 and older. Please call your OCDD office for more information!

See below for some of the services that this waiver may cover. But understand that there is a new system and it should cover just the services that each person really needs.

NOW, or New Opportunities Waiver, offers individual and family support, community integration development, center-based respite, supported independent living, substitute family care, day habilitation, employment-related training, environmental accessibility adaptations, specialized medical equipment and supplies, personal response emergency services (PERS), professional services, skilled nursing, one-time transitional expenses, and housing transition/stabilization services.

A person who qualifies will not necessarily get all of these services. It will depend on their situation and their needs.

Click on the boxes below to read more about each service. (Click on the title again to close the box)

Family Support Services offer a personal care attendant (PCA) who will work with you to help care for your child.

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Notes:

  • Services can take place at your home or someplace else, like an after school program or summer camp.

  • Services cannot take place at the PCA's home, a hospital, a center-based respite facilities, or outside of Louisiana.

A Respite Care Center is a place where qualified staff can take care of your child for a short time if you need some time off.

So if you have a sudden emergency and need to travel, or if you're planning a work trip, you can have your child stay at a respite care center while you're away.

This NOW service covers up to 12 days (or 720 hours) of care in a respite center.

CID is a service that helps your child or adult family member to build more relationships in your community. This can help give you more support, activities to do, and friendships.

This is different from Individual and Family Support services. CID services focus just on community activities and supports.

You can share this with other children and adults who get NOW services. That means both your child and another child will get services together at the same time. This can be a good chance for your child to practice their skills with other children who have disabilities. It may also help them make friends!

Transportation is included for activities documented in the Plan of Care.

Your child can use CID services for up to 60 hours per year. That's a lot of time! If your child spends 1 hour each week at a community event, they will still have hours leftover at the end of the year.

Day Habilitation services help people with disabilities learn new skills. These skills often focus on making the person more independent. (They're for people 18 or older.)

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Your family member's POC will list which of these services will help them reach their goals.

Day Habilitation may also include building skills outside of the home, like making food choices at a restaurant or doing non-paid work in the community to practice social skills.

NOW will cover transportation to and from where the services are taking place. 

SIL is a service for people age 18 and older who need a little help in order to be able to live on their own.

If your adult child lives in their own apartment, but forgets to clean the house or pay their bills, this could be a good service for them.

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If your child lives with you, they will not be able to get SIL services.

SFC is a service for adults who need to live somewhere with supervision.

They can live in a Substitute Family Care Home.

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SFC services do not cover costs for rent or food, so your family may need to pay for those things. Make sure to work with your Support Coordinator to see if this service is a good fit for your family.

If your family member lives in a, SFC home, they may also be able to get Individual Family Support benefits. Ask about this!

If a person wants to work in the community, this may be offered in their care plan.

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Transportation to and from work is included in NOW services.

Prevocational services will help your family member get ready for having a job.

This means that these services will help them build the skills they need in order to get a jobThese skills will need to be listed in a career plan that outlines your family member's job-related goals.

Types of prevocational services include: 

  • learning to follow rules and instructions

  • talking with coworkers and supervisors in a way that is appropriate for work

  • paying attention to the task you are working on

  • finishing tasks

  • being safe at work

  • figuring out what to do when you need help

  • staying positive when work gets to be stressful

The Support Coordinator will review the progress for each activity. When your family member has made enough progress on these tasks, they can work with the Support Coordinator to take the next step in finding a job.

Your family member can use these services for up to four years. The goal is to find a job within that time.

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This service will pay for any adaptations or modifications you need to make to your family member's home or car in order to keep them healthy and safe.

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 Notes:

  • OCDD must approve of an adaptation (change) before this service will pay for it.

  • Adaptations should be listed on your family member's POC.

  • If you need to make changes to your home, like widening a doorway, then the Support Coordinator will ask you to fill out the Environmental Accessibility Adaptation Job Completion Form.

Click the "Environmental Accessibility Adaptation Job Completion Form" link at the bottom of the pay to download a copy of the form.

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This service will pay for devices, and equipment that your family member needs to have in order to stay healthy and safe.

This includes things they need for life support or for physical conditions. It will also help you decide which devices you need, train you to use them and help with repairs.

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Notes:

  • This service covers things that help your family member adapt to their disability.

  • It does NOT cover appliances (washer, dryer, stove, etc), cars, costs for bus passes or taxis, toys, or telephones.

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Ask your child's Support Coordinator for a PERS if you would like to have this extra layer of safety.

This service is meant to help your child become more independent at home and in the community.

What are "professional services"?

  • Nutrition or Dietary Services - learning what to eat and why, and about food and allergies

  • Social Work - connecting with helpful services, groups, and people

  • Psychology - talking to a therapist during counseling, getting advice on how to cope and handle different experiences

If your child is under 21, you should ask for these services first through EPSDT, or the Healthy Louisiana health care plan. If you cannot get the services through either of those, then you can get them with the NOW waiver.

Skilled Nursing services are for people who have medical needs that require help from a doctor or nurse.

  • If your family member needs nursing services, make sure they are included in the Plan of Care (POC)

  • To get these services, your Support Coordinator will need approval from OCDD

  • You can usually get approved for 12 hours or less per day. If you need more than this, your Support Coordinator will work with DHH for approval

  • If your child is under 21, they will get these services through EPSDT.

One-Time Transitional services help to support someone who is moving from a nursing facility, intermediate care facility, or group home to their own home or apartment.

This service will help to buy things that they will need to set up their home.

Notes:

  • This service can only be used once! 

  • It does not cover costs for moving your family member to a Host Home - only to their own home.

  • If you are using this service to buy things, make sure you get each item approved first.

NOW offers housing services to help people get ready to leave a hospital or group home and return to their family or live on their own.

These services must be included in your family member's POC and approved by OCDD. Housing must be a part of the Permanent Supported Housing program.

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To learn more:

  • Go this webpage: About the New Opportunities Waiver. (It will open in a new tab on your screen.)
  • Click on the "New Opportunities Waiver - Tip Sheet" link at the bottom of the page to download a fact sheet.

     

    Source: LDH

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