Medicaid and the Special Needs Child

As most parents of special needs children know getting services is a challenge. Half the time you don’t know where to get them or how to get them paid for. The answer, Medicaid.

I am sure many other parents, including myself, have said to themselves or even been told by agencies that they do not qualify for Medicaid because they exceed the income requirements. And you would exceed the requirements if you apply for the wrong kind of Medicaid like so many parents of special needs kids have.

There is Medicaid intended for low-income families who can not afford medical coverage and then there is Medicaid for Developmentally Disabled children and adults. This is the kind of Medicaid you want to apply for. This form of Medicaid qualifies an applicant based on the degree of their disability not income. Be sure to mention that when you pick up an application. Applications can be picked up at your local social services office.

5 Regional Offices
Photo courtesy of OPWDD’s website

Once you have been approved for Medicaid then you need to get Medicaid waiver and the agency you want to contact then is The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities or OPWDD. They can help you get approved for Medicaid also if you are having a hard time navigating that.

Here is a link to New York’s OPWDD’s website;

If you are in a different state just google or search OPWDD and your local one should pop up. If not just search your state and OPWDD. Your local social services department should also be able to guide you toward some contact numbers for OPWDD as well.

You will still have to do a lot of the research for programs and services on your own as well as stay on top of your case to make sure you are getting all you can from it but OPWDD will open the door for many services and funding.

Hope this helps some of the confusion I’ve witnessed out there, I know it was confusing for me at first. If you have any questions feel free to post in the comments. Good Luck


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