Medicaid Waiver Programs

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Medicaid Waiver Programs, IO Waiver, SELF Waiver

Empower offers Medicaid waiver programs throughout Ohio for children and adults. Empower is an agency waiver provider (contract #2570909) for the following services and waivers:

  • Homemaker/Personal Care
  • Parent-Directed Homemaker/Personal Care (SELF Waiver only)
  • Community Respite
  • HPC Transportation
  • Individual Options “I/O” Waiver
  • Level One Waiver
  • SELF Waiver

About Waivers

Empower’s waiver program accepts the Medicaid Individual Options waiver, Level 1 waiver, and SELF waiver, which allow individuals with disabilities to receive support in their homes and/or in the community. Recipients must qualify by requiring a certain level of care and meeting certain financial criteria.

Waivers are administered by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities with local support performed by County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, such as the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities.


Services provided under a Medicaid Waiver must follow the recipient’s Individual Service Plan (“ISP”), which is developed by a social worker at the individual’s county board. Empower provides ISP services in accordance with the rules and guidelines set by several state agencies. Examples are filling out proper documentation, providing training for employees, etc.

Empower specializes in providing Homemaker Personal Care services and Community Respite services as part of its waiver programs. Homemaker Personal Care can include assistance with basic personal care, help with medications, household services, light cleaning of the home, meal preparation, etc. These services are provided by a Empower employee that comes to the recipient’s home on a regular basis. These employees complete many levels of background checks and receive training in first aid/CPR, individual rights, etc.

Community respite services are provided in community programs and camps in order to provide relief to individuals that normally care for the recipient. Empower provides community respite services through activities-based summer camps that take place in June and July each year. These camps include activities that conform to the individual participants’ Individual Service Plans such as sports, art, and social activities. Services are provided by employees that also complete many levels of background checks and receive training in first aid/CPR, individual rights, etc.

HPC transportation is a service provided by Empower employees in which the employee transports the client in their personal vehicle in order to provide access to the community for the client. Employees and their vehicles are screened prior to the service being provided in order to ensure that the client is transported safely.

Process for Beginning Services

1. Meet with Service Coordinator

The first step in establishing a Medicaid waiver program to meet with your Service Coordinator (if your loved one with a disability does not yet have a waiver, contact your local county board for assistance, but please be aware that there can be a long wait for waiver awards in certain counties). Tell your Service Coordinator what types of services you would like for your loved one to receive and find out what services can be approved and funded.

2. Contact Empower

Once your service coordinator has approved a general plan, have them contact us at (614) 420-5445. We have relationships with many service coordinators in Central Ohio, so they will likely know about our services. We will then work with them to establish what services we can provide and how.

3. Plan the Program

We will then schedule a meeting with you and the service coordinator to refine the plan and complete the proper paperwork. Your Service Coordinator will then submit the proper documentation to the appropriate authorities, and we will begin setting up the program.