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. 

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
  • Prevocational Services
  • 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
  • Adult Companion Care
  • 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.

To qualify for the New Opportunities Waiver, a person must:

  • Meet Medicaid Eligibility AND
  • Be 3 years of age or older AND
  • Have an OCDD Statement of approval AND
  • Meet the Louisiana definition of Developmental Disability per Revised Statue 25:451.2 Paragraph (12) AND
  • Meet Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) Level of Care Criteria, AND
  • Have needs that cannot be met by another OCDD Waiver

How to Apply

Individuals who have a need for services should contact their local Human Services District/Authority in order to go through the eligibility determination process. Once a person is eligible for OCDD services, they may ask to be added to the Developmental Disability Request for Services Registry (RFSR).

OCDD maintains a Developmental Disability RFSR of individuals who have a need for waiver services along with the date the person initially requested waiver services.

As each individual is added to the RFSR, the individual is screened to determine their urgency of need for services. An Individual, who meets the eligibility criteria, is in the highest urgency priority category(s) being served based on funding and has the earliest RFSR date will be offered the next available OCDD waiver opportunity that meets their needs.

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 Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID). 

To apply for NOW services, contact a human services district/authority, click here.

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

Waiver Guidelines, 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.