DHS restructures Home and Community-Based Services wait list to help consumers better understand the availability of services

July 1, 2016

ATLANTA – Effective July 1, the Department of Human Services has restructured its wait list for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to help consumers better understand the likelihood of receiving services within the next year.

Home and Community-Based Services are services that help older Georgians live safely, healthily and independently in their communities. The services are funded through the Older Americans Act and include home-delivered meals, personal care assistance, homemaker services and respite care.

As a result of the change in policy, those who request services are given priority based on their level of need. Those who are most likely to receive services in the next 12 months in a “Tier 1” wait list. Individuals requesting services will be placed on a “Tier 2” waiting list if an assessment determines they have a lower level of need. 

The changes are meant to set a more realistic expectation for those seeking placement on the wait list. They also allow staff to discuss alternative solutions to services provided through the HCBS program, including services provided at a full or reduced cost.

The Department vetted the policy change with major stakeholder groups, including local Area Agencies on Aging, seeking their understanding and approval before moving forward.

“Our goal is to be sure older adults in our state are well-equipped to make decisions that allow them to live independently,” said DHS Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden. “These policy changes will help us be sure that those who come to us in search of services are informed of all options available to them, including their standing on the wait list for Home and Community-Based Services.”

For more on the policy change, click here.

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