Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities?
The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for administering services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They accomplish this through multiple initiatives, including the Medicaid waivers for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), state-operated Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), and the Family Support Program.
The DIDD administers services directly or through contracts with community providers like Meritan. We provide Home and Community Based Services to people living in our medical residential homes and family model residential homes. The DIDD monitors the services being provided by Meritan and other providers to ensure the health and safety of all those being served.
Where do I start to get approved for DIDD services through the state of Tennessee?
To learn more about applying for services, individuals must call their regional DIDD office and prepare to provide the necessary documentation. DIDD staff will help individuals with the application process. After the application process has been completed, individuals have access to an Independent Support Coordinator or state Case Manager to help them and their families choose the right service provider to best meet their needs.
Who Can Receive DIDD services?
To receive services through the Tennessee DIDD, individuals must have a diagnosed intellectual or developmental disability that manifested before age 18. They must also meet the financial criteria and eligibility requirements for the Tennessee Medicaid program, TennCare (TennCare 1200-13-01-.15). Depending on the waiver you are seeking, there may be additional criteria.
How soon can I begin services?
Tennessee does have a waiting list for service waivers. However, depending on the severity of your need, you may be given priority. Individuals whose needs have been determined a crisis by a DIDD case worker are given priority for service waivers.
What is the Medicaid Waiver?
The Medicaid Waiver allows states to waive some restrictions on Medicaid funding in order to reach people who might not have been eligible otherwise. Tennessee has three waivers aimed at providing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with home and community-based services: the Statewide Waiver, Comprehensive Aggregate Cap Waiver, and Self-Determination Waiver.
Do I have to choose a specific provider to get Medicaid Waiver services?
No, the state contracts with many providers, such as Meritan, that the individual and family can choose from.
What are Home and Community-based Services?
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are alternatives to institutional care. If someone meets the criteria to qualify for ICF services, they have the right to choose to receive those services in a home or community setting. The kinds of services provided depend on the waiver program, but all programs support the integration of the individual receiving services into their community as much as possible.
What is the Statewide Waiver program?
The Statewide Waiver serves adults with intellectual disabilities and children under age six with developmental delays who qualify for and would otherwise require placement in a private Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID). This is the general waiver program that allows people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive HCBS.
What is the Self-Determination Waiver program?
The Self-Determination Waiver Program allows individuals to directly manage selected services, including the recruitment and management of service providers. Participants and families (as appropriate) electing self-direction manage their own service budget within the limitations and definitions laid out by the waiver program. This gives flexibility in service design and delivery.
The Self-Determination Waiver Program serves persons who have an established non-institutional place of residence where they live with their family, a non-related caregiver or in their own home and whose needs can be met effectively by the combination of waiver services and natural and other supports available to them. The Self-Determination Waiver does not include residential services such as supported living.
What is the Comprehensive Aggregate Cap Waiver?
This program specifically serves individuals who were either previous residents at two of Tennessee's last developmental centers or whose care exceeded the neutrality cap set in the Satewide Waiver. Tennessee no longer has any large institutions such as developmental centers for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.