book on. table
November 10, 2020

Draft April 1, 2021 HCBS Waiver Amendment

Draft April 1, 2021 HCBS Waiver Amendment

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is pleased to announce the opportunity for public comment on the draft OPWDD Comprehensive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Amendment. OPWDD will be seeking an effective date of April 1, 2021.

The HCBS Waiver is the Medicaid program that provides opportunities for over 88,000 adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive services in their own home or community.

The public comment period will be open from November 10, 2020 through December 18, 2020. A copy of the draft  April 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment is available on the OPWDD website at: Hard copies of the draft April 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment will also be available at the OPWDD Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDROs) at the addresses identified below this message. Written comments will be accepted by email at: [email protected] or by mail to: OPWDD, Attention: Division of Policy and Program Development, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12229. All comments must be postmarked or emailed by December 18, 2020. Please specify “1915(c) April 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment Comments” in the subject line.

OPWDD will be conducting two webinars on Thursday, November 12, 2020 to provide an overview of the proposed changes included in the draft April 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment. To register for one of the two webinars, visit the OPWDD website at:

American Sign Language interpreters will be made available for this meeting. Each participant can choose who appears in their thumbnail videos by “pinning” them to their screen in order to see them clearly. See directions on how to do that here. Closed captioning will also be provided.

This draft April 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment includes proposed changes to permanently adopt certain provisions that were temporarily adopted to address the COVID-19 public health emergency and change the implementation dates for certain rate setting commitments. Proposed changes are being made to revise the service description for Community Habilitation to allow the delivery of Community Habilitation services within certified residences and allow Day Habilitation, Prevocational Services, Respite, Pathway to Employment, Support Brokerage, Community Habilitation, and Supported Employment services to be delivered via telehealth modalities consistent with the temporary COVID-19 public health emergency provisions.

The amendment also includes a proposal to revise the Intensive Respite service definition to allow individuals who live in certified settings to access Intensive Respite from a Crisis Services for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (CSIDD) Resource Center.

In addition, OPWDD is changing the implementation date of a new overnight Respite reimbursement methodology and use of the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) to determine funding for individuals identified with high needs and Personal Resource Account (PRA) calculations. The Amendment will change these implementation dates from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2021.

We welcome your comments and thank you for your continued advocacy for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Theodore Kastner, MD, MS


Hard copies of the Waiver Amendment will be available at the following locations:
• Finger Lakes DDRO, 620 Westfall Rd./326 Sun St., Rochester, NY 14620
• Western NY DDRO, 1200 East and West Road, Building 16, West Seneca, NY 14224
• Broome DDRO, 249 Glenwood Rd., Binghamton, NY 13905
• Central NY DDRO, 187 Northern Concourse, North Syracuse, NY 13212
• Sunmount DDRO, 2445 State Route 30, Tupper Lake, NY 12986
• Capital District DDRO, 500 Balltown Road, Schenectady, NY 12304
• Hudson Valley DDRO, 9 Wilbur Road, Thiells, NY 10984
• Taconic DDRO, 38 Firemens Way, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
• Bernard Fineson DDRO, 80-45 Winchester Boulevard, Building 80, 2nd Floor Administrative Suite, Queens Village, NY 11427
• Metro Bronx DDRO, 2400 Halsey St., Bronx, NY 10461
• Brooklyn DDRO, 888 Fountain Avenue, Building 1, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11239
• Metro Manhattan DDRO, 25 Beaver Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10004
• Staten Island DDRO, 930 Willowbrook Rd, Staten Island, NY 10314
• Long Island DDRO 415-A Oser Ave, Hauppauge, NY 11788