There are many state and federal programs and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The availability of programs will vary depending on age, disability, individual and family income and waiting lists for services.
First Steps/Early Intervention Services
First Steps is a program offered by the State of Indiana that provides early intervention services for families who have infants and toddlers (birth to third birthday) with developmental delays or who show signs of being at-risk of delays in the future. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, or know that your child has a disability, Call: 800-441-STEP (800-441-7837).
Pre-school and school-age children with a disability are eligible for a free and appropriate education through the public school system, beginning at age three and continuing through their 21st birthday. Eligibility for special education services is determined through the local school corporation. Contact your local school corporation, or the State Division of Exceptional Learners. Call: 317-232-0570 or 877-851-4106.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides federal financial assistance, in the form of a monthly check, for eligible individuals who have a disability and who have little income or assets. Children with disabilities may be eligible for SSI, depending on their level of disability and family income. Eligibility is determined through your local Social Security office.
Employment and Developmental Day Programs
Employment and Developmental Day Programs are provided in communities throughout Indiana. These programs are provided by organizations, including local Arc chapters, approved through either the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities.
Apply for employment services through your local Vocational Rehabilitation Services office.
Day program services are funded through Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver program.
Learn more about Employment.
Health Related Services
- Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS)
Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) is a program to help Indiana children ages birth to 21 years old with severe chronic medical conditions. It helps pay for treatment related to the child’s condition. Autism is also a condition that may qualify a child for services from CSHCS. Families who apply for CSHCS must also apply for Medicaid; however, they do not need to be eligible for Medicaid to be eligible for CSHCS. A family with an income before taxes no greater than 250% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for the program. Call: 800-475-1355.
- Hoosier Healthwise
Hoosier Healthwise is the State of Indiana’s health care program for children, pregnant women, and families with low income. Based on family income, children up to age 19 may be eligible for coverage. HHW covers medical care like doctor visits, prescription medicine, mental health care, dental care, hospitalizations, surgeries, and family planning at little or no cost to the member or the member’s family. Families must meet income and resource guidelines. Call: 800-889-9949.
Medicaid provides health insurance to eligible persons with a disability, who also meet income and asset guidelines. Eligibility determination is made by the local Division of Family Resources (DFR). Find your DFR office or Apply for Benefits.
Generally, the following services are covered by Traditional Medicaid. This list does not include everything Medicaid covers.
Preventive Services – This includes medical services like:
Doctor office visits
Behavior and Mental Health Services – Coverage includes outpatient mental health services you receive from:
Local center for mental health
Social workers in your community
Eye Care – Coverage includes eye exams and eyeglasses.
Diabetes Self Care Management Training – Activities include:
Blood glucose self-monitoring
Foot, skin, and dental care
Inpatient/Outpatient Hospital Care – Services include:
Other diagnostic tests that are considered medically necessary during the stay
Home Health Care & Services -Supplies and services include:
Durable medical equipment
Medical supplies, equipment, and appliances
Transportation – Medicaid will pay for up to 20 one-way trips without prior authorization.
Dental – Covered services include annual exams and preventive care.
Emergency Care – Medicaid benefits include:
Medically necessary screening services
Medicaid funds long term care services in Medicaid funded facilities and home and community-based services through the Medicaid Waiver. Parental income and resources are not counted when determining Medicaid eligibility for children for receiving services through a Medicaid Waiver or Medicaid funded facilities. Learn more about Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver Program.
Home and Community-Based Services / Medicaid Waiver
Home and Community-Based Services, funded primarily through Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver program, provide supports to families to care for a loved one at home, and supports to adults to live in their own home or small residential program. Because there are waiting lists for Home and Community-Based Services funded by the Medicaid Waiver, it is important to apply and get on a waiting list, even if you do not need services right now.
Residential services are provided in a variety of settings, from residential programs funded through a Medicaid Waiver, to Medicaid funded group homes, to large congregate facilities – including nursing homes and large Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ICFs/DD). Indiana can be proud that all state institutions for people with developmental disabilities have closed, and former residents have transitioned successfully to small, community based programs. The Arc of Indiana led this effort.
- Medicaid Waiver Program
Medicaid Waivers allow Medicaid to pay for services that support families in caring for a loved one at home, allow adults with disabilities to live in the community with up to 24 hour supports, and supports to help people move out of nursing homes or ICFs/DD. Family income and resources are not counted when determining Medicaid eligibility for children receiving Medicaid waiver services. Because there is a waiting list to get Medicaid Waiver services, it is important to apply and get on the waiting list, even if you do not need services at this time.Contact your local Bureau of Developmental Disability Services office to apply.
- Group Homes
Group homes, funded by Medicaid, typically serve six to eight people. Contact your local Bureau of Developmental Disability Services office to apply.
- Large Intermediate Care Facilities
Large Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs-ID/DD) are funded by Medicaid and are licensed specifically to care for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Contact your local Bureau of Developmental Disability Services office to apply.
- Specialized Childrens’ Facilities
The Division of Family Resources may place children in specialized children’s facilities that provide 24-hour care. Placement in these facilities may require a “Child In Need of Service” petition to the court, and/or recommendation for placement through the special education system, if it is determined that the school cannot meet the child’s educational needs.
- Nursing Homes
People with developmental disabilities need not live in nursing homes unless they have a very serious medical condition.The closure of all of Indiana’s state institutions for people with developmental disabilities, and the successful transition of people who once lived in those institutions to community base programs, is strong proof that people need not live in large facilities. If your loved one is currently living in a nursing home, he or she can move to a community-based residential program, funded through the Medicaid Waiver program, with 24 hour supports. If you are considering placing your loved one in a nursing home, or if someone is recommending a nursing home as an option, it is important to explore other residential options. Contact The Arc at 800-382-9100 and ask to speak to a Family Advocate. Watch Moving from a Nursing Facility to a Home in Your Community. Read “A Guide to Transitioning to a Home with Medicaid Waiver Supports in Your Community.”