FAQS

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion some compassion, some humor and some style” 
Maya Angelou

What is HCBS Waiver Program?


HCBS stands for Home and Community Based Services and this program is an authorized program of the Social Security Act. It allows the State to furnish an array of services that takes place in the home and the community and assists people who receive Medicaid to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. The HCBS Waiver services compliment and/or supplement services that are available to Individuals through the Medicaid state plan and other programs provided through the local, state and federal Government. It also assists with the supports that the families and communities provide. The Individual must have Medicaid in order to be eligible for the program.




What are Habilitation Services?


Habilitation services assist the Individual by supplying the person with the means to develop maximum independence through support, training, education, etc. These services help the Individual to learn, keep or improve skills and functional abilities. Community Habilitation services provides the Individual with opportunities to learn and experience community-based activities. Enhancement of aforementioned skills also occurs in the home.




What are the requirements for a person to become enrolled or eligible for Community Habilitation Services?


The Individual must be “Waiver Eligible” and have Medicaid. The individual must have a diagnosis of intellectual and /or developmental disability. We service individuals from the ages of 5 years old and up. There are a number of documents that we are required to review as part of the referral process, to include medical, psychological and psychosocial evaluations. All documents must be current and accurate. Please contact the Director of Community Services or Intake department (?i),real-nyc.org for additional information regarding documentation needed to make a referral for service.




Once a referral packet has been submitted, what happens and how long is it before the start of services?


Once we receive and review a packet and have determined that we will accept the applicant, the information is then inputted into a system under OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) for their review and authorization. Once REAL, Inc. receives authorization to provide the service, we will contact the Individual and/or family and the Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) to inform all of the approval. A Program Coordinator will immediately be assigned to the case and will work with all to develop a schedule. The overall process can vary and is dependent on REAL, Inc. receiving all of the required documents for the referral packet. Services can begin as early as two weeks after REAL, Inc. is notified that services for the Individual have been approved.




How are hours for Community Habilitation distributed?


OPWDD will approve a total number of annual units/hours based on the need identified. Those annual units/hours are converted into hours per week. A schedule based on this number is developed by the Individual and/or family.




Is Community Habilitation the same as Respite or Home Health Services?


Community Habilitation is not the same as Respite or Home Health Care Services. Respite provides a “break” for the family member and monitors the Individuals whereas Community Habilitation provides the opportunity for the Individual to enhance certain skills while accessing the community and it resources. Home Health Care Services are supports that are in place for someone who may have a physical/medical condition and they need help with getting tasks done. The supports are not activity based as with Community Habilitation.