Increasing Independence

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Home and Community-based Waivers assist individuals with intellectual disabilities and are designed to maximize each person’s potential, increase their independence and promote meaningful community connections. These waivers provide in-home, employment vocational, and family supports services for people who live in their own home or family home or licensed settings.

The Employment and Day Support (EDS) Waiver is designed to support individuals who live with family or in their own homes and have a strong natural support system. This includes children under the age of 21 with complex medical needs who would otherwise require institutional placement and individuals over the age of 18 who require career development, supported employment or community based day supports, respite, and/or behavioral supports to remain in their own home or their family home.

Note: There may be a waiting list for this program.

See also: The other DDS HCBS waivers for people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities include:

  • DDS Individual and Family Supports (IFS) Waiver: This waiver is designed to support individuals who live in their own home, in their family home and who need less extensive supports.
  • DDS Comprehensive Supports (COMP) Waiver: This waiver provides direct Services & Supports for people who live in licensed settings, live in their own home or their family home, volunteer and work in their local community that may require a level of support not available under the IFS waiver, usually due to significant behavioral, medical and/or physical support needs and/or the absence of available natural supports.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the EDS Waiver, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be deemed eligible for DDS services first, before receiving any waiver services. Find the DDS eligibility requirements here.
  • Need an ICF/IID level of care. That is, the person must have an intellectual or developmental disability and a level of need which would necessitate the level of services provided in an institution.
  • Is willing to or has a desire to live in a community setting.
  • Have income and assets within the limits specified for the waiver.

Children under the age of 21 with complex medical needs who would otherwise require institutional care may also be eligible. Services may also be available to individuals older than 18 years of age in need of career development, supported employment or community-based day supports.

Spend Down

Individuals who cannot afford the cost of care, but are over Medicaid’s limits may still qualify. The state has a spend down program that evaluates an individual’s care costs and their income. If it is calculated that an individual cannot meet their care costs, they can qualify for Medicaid by spending-down their income over the limit on their medically-necessary care costs.

Alternatively, the individual can also privately pay for services out-of-pocket until they become eligible.


Individuals who are denied enrollment into one of the DDS waivers or who are denied requested waiver services have the right to request a hearing from the Department of Social Services. Notice of Fair Hearing Rights and the Hearing Request Form are provided to the individual with the written denial of enrollment or service.

Types of Services & Supports that can be used for DDS Employment and Day Support (EDS) Waiver

Services offered through the EDS Waiver include:

  • Family Support Services: Respite care.
  • Vocational and Day Services: Adult Day Health, Individual and Group Supported Employment, Community-Based Day Support Options and Individualized Day Support.
  • Specialized Support Services: Behavior Support Services, Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies, Interpreters, Transportation, Independent Support Broker, Individual Goods and Services, Assistive Technology and Peer Support.


People who have enrolled in the DDS EDS Waiver may not receive care immediately and may be placed on the DDS Waiting List until an open slot becomes available. The DDS will notify people on the Waiting List when there is an available opening through the regional Planning and Resource Allocation Team (PRAT) process.

Applicants deemed eligible to receive services and their team will start the Individual Plan process and complete the waiver application and the Medicaid application if necessary. Case managers for people already receiving services can help them determine if they are waiver eligible and help complete the application process. Care recipients will be able to independently choose Services & Supports or work with a support broker for assistance.

For questions or additional information, contact:

North Region 1-877-437-4577
South Region 1-877-437-4567
West Region 1-877-491-2720