We know it was a big year for intellectual and developmental (I/DD) services. This year you all supported our Waiver redesign. This will be the first time in the 25 year history of the program that we engage in an evidenced-based overhaul of our services, rates, and plans to implement community Waiver services. We are so grateful for your support and believe this will be the best path forward for Virginia to achieve what best practices, the Department of Justice, and the intention of the Waivers describe- supports so that people with all needs can live safe, fulfilling lives in their communities.
This year you all funded 355 Waivers above the minimums required in the DOJ settlement agreement. That is a significant step forward. However, we remain very concerned. Of all the Waivers funded, 180 will go to people leaving Training Centers who are not currently on waiting lists of any kind. 40 are set aside for emergencies which is so desperately needed, but it will not support those on the waiting list, either. The Waivers that will go to people on the waiting list this year total 640 slots and next year they total 350 slots. As of March, our state waiting list for the Waivers has reached 10,890 people.
We will do our part by using services wisely, helping DBHDS to revise the Waivers so they’re cost effective and meet the needs of people with disabilities. We need you to stay hard at work, though, on that waiting list.
Today I invite you to meet Erina, one of the 10,890 people currently waiting with no help and trying to make life work.