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  • T. Graham, Ph.D

How Medicaid Members Can Qualify for the Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP)

The Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP) is a valuable resource for individuals with

disabilities or long-term care needs. Administered by Medicaid, ICWP offers support services that allow beneficiaries to receive care in their homes and communities instead of nursing facilities. In this blog, we will explore the qualifications and steps that Medicaid members must follow to become eligible for the Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP).

Meeting Medicaid Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Independent Care Waiver Program, individuals must first be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal and state-funded program designed to provide healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and families. Eligibility criteria vary from state to state but generally consider factors such as income, assets, age, disability status, and citizenship. Applicants must ensure that they meet their state's Medicaid requirements before proceeding go apply for the ICWP.

Demonstrating Functional Eligibility

In addition to Medicaid eligibility, applicants for ICWP must demonstrate functional eligibility, which means they need to require a level of care typically provided in a nursing facility. This may include assistance with daily living activities (known as ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, eating, and mobility. The state's Medicaid agency or a designated case manager will conduct an assessment to determine the individual's functional eligibility.

Residency and Level of Care

Medicaid members seeking ICWP must be residents of the state where they are applying for the program. Additionally, the level of care required by the individual must be appropriate for home and community-based services as opposed to institutional care.

Applying for the Independent Care Waiver Program

Once an individual meets the Medicaid and functional eligibility criteria, they can apply for the Independent Care Waiver Program through their state's Medicaid agency. The application process may involve completing forms, providing documentation of medical conditions and care needs, and participating in an assessment or evaluation.

Waiting Lists and Priority Groups

Due to the high demand for home and community-based services, some stated may have waiting lists for the ICWP. However, certain priority groups, such as those transitioning from institutions to community settings, may receive preferential treatment on the waiting list. If you are in the state of Georgia, there is no waiting list for ICWP.

Developing a Care Plan

After being approved for the Independent Care Waiver Program, the Medicaid member, their family, or designated representative will work with the case manager to develop a personalized care plan. This plan outlines the specific services and supports the individual will receive through the program, tailored to their unique needs and preferences.


The Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP) presents an excellent opportunity for Medicaid members with disabilities or long-term care needs to receive necessary support and services while remaining in their homes and communities. By meeting the Medicaid eligibility requirements, demonstrating functional eligibility, and following the application process diligently, qualified individuals can access the benefits of the ICWP. This program empowers beneficiaries with greater independence, choice, and control over their long-term care, ensuring a higher quality of life and enhanced well-being.

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1 Comment

Joy Carter
Joy Carter
Jul 25, 2023

Very timely and useful information!

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