About the New Opportunities Waiver

The New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) began in April 2003, replacing the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled Waiver (MRDD Waiver). The mission of the NOW is to utilize the principles of self determination to supplement the family and/or community supports while supporting dignity, quality of life, and security in the everyday lives of people while maintaining the Recipient in the community. The NOW includes an array of services aimed at assisting people to live as independently as possible.

NOW Waiver Services

The NOW includes an array of services aimed at assisting people to live as independently as possible. NOW services include the following:

  • Center-Based Respite
  • Community Integration and Development
  • Day Habilitation and Transportation
  • Employment Related Training
  • Environmental Accessibilities Adaptations
  • Housing Stabilization Services
  • Housing Stabilization Transition Services
  • Individualized and Family Support (IFS) Service Day & Night
  • One-Time Transitional Services
  • Personal Emergency Response System
  • Professional Services
  • Self-Direction Option
  • Skilled Nursing Services
  • Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Substitute Family Care
  • Supported Employment and Transportation
  • Supported Living

Population Requirements

The NOW is only appropriate for those individuals whose health and welfare can be assured via an Individual Support Plan and for whom home and community-based waiver services represent a least restrictive treatment alternative. The NOW is intended to provide specific, activity focused services rather than continuous custodial care.

In order to be eligible for NOW services all participants must meet the Louisiana definition of Developmental Disabilities as outlined in the Louisiana Law, R.S. 28:451.1-455.2

  • Be three years of age or older,
  • Meet the Louisiana definition of Developmental Disabilities as outlined in the Louisiana Law, R.S. 28:451.1-455.2, which manifested prior to age 22.
  • Meet the ICF/DD level of care

Additionally interested persons must meet the following financial criteria:

Income may be up to three times the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) amount. For children, income of other family members is not considered if the child receives SSI. Parental income is counted toward minor children for the month of admission only. The income of the minor and the income of the parent(s) with whom the child lived during the month of admission are counted together. Countable resources cannot be worth more than $2,000 for a single person or $3,000 for a couple who needs ICF/DD level of care.  

Note: The financial limits are subject to change each year.

How to Apply

Due to the demand for NOW services, there is a Request for Services Registry (RFSR), which lists people, who have a qualifying developmental disability (DD) according to the Louisiana definition of Developmental Disabilties as outlined in the Louisiana Law, R.S. 28:451.1-455.2, and their request date.  The NOW is offered to people on the Registry on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of people who qualify for the NOW through emergency placement or other designated placements.

Individuals who are interested in being added to the RFSR for the NOW should contact their local District/Authority. The application process does not begin until a waiver slot becomes available. At that time, medical and financial determinations will be completed simultaneously to verify that the person has a developmental disability and meets the financial and medical/psychological requirements for an Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD).

Resource Allocation

Get more information on how OCDD is working to ensure services in the NOW waiver are available to meet support needs of people receiving services, click here.

NOW Fact Sheet

2015 NOW Fact Sheet (UPDATED)

Waiver Guidelines, Documents and Forms

All Waiver Guideline Documents and Forms

To access all Provider Documents and Forms for the NOW Waiver, please click here.

All Medicaid Provider Manuals with current chapter updates can be found here.