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The Hart-Supported Living Program is a state-funded program designed to help disabled Kentucky residents live independently and remain a part of the community. It does so by providing grants to individuals, regardless of their age, to help them remain living at home, or in the home of a family member.
While the Hart-Supported Living Program is not a Medicaid funded program, it is similar philosophically to the Medicaid principle of Cash and Counseling or Consumer Direction. This means the participants in the program are given responsibility to determine what supports and services they require and whom they would like to provide them. They are then provided with the funds so they can directly make the arrangements for the supports and services themselves. The stated goal of the program is to encourage independent living, therefore individuals residing in assisted living, skilled nursing homes, and even multiple resident, adult foster care are ineligible.
The hiring of care providers is left to the discretion of the program participant. There is nothing included in the program regulations that forbid the hiring of friends or family members to provide personal care services. Therefore, it is possible that family members, including adult children and even spouses, can get paid for the care they provide to a disabled loved one or relative.
This program was previously known as Kentucky Supported Living and is also sometimes referred to as the Hart-Supported Living Grant, but should not be confused with KY's Medicaid waiver program called Supports for Community Living (SCL).
All Kentucky residents with disabilities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are eligible to apply for assistance via this program. Financially, an individual that has income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is eligible for this program. As of 2017, this amount is $3,015 / month or $36,180 / year. However, when determining eligibility, medically related expenses are deductible from an individual’s income. An applicant who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically meets the income guidelines for this program. Other factors that influence eligibility include the family's commitment to helping the individual remain independent and evidence that the applicant has exhausted other sources of assistance.
There are two classes of grants: those for one time purchases and those for ongoing services. An individual may apply for just one type of grant or both. All services and costs must be outlined in advance and approved by the administering agency. However, selection of the care, service provider, or technology is left to the discretion of the program participant. Possible goods and services include the following, though this list is not exhaustive.
Applications are submitted to and reviewed by the Regional Hart-Supported Living Coordinators. One can find the contact information on this webpage. The application deadline each year is April 1st with funding available for approved applicants July 1st. Many elements of this program do not automatically renew. Therefore, participants should be aware they might have to re-apply each April. There is no wait list. If an applicant applied for funds and did not receive funding, he or she must apply again the following fiscal year. Complete information is available in this downloadable PDF file.