Page Reviewed / Updated – Feb. 22, 2024

Program Description

The Hart-Supported Living Program is a state-funded program designed to help physically and mentally 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 the Medicaid principle of “consumer-direction.” This means the participants in the program are able 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, if an individual resides in a group setting (such as assisted living, skilled nursing homes, and adult foster care), that group setting must be consistent with Hart-Supported Living principles.

In the Hart Supported Living program, family members can be compensated for providing assistance.

The hiring of care providers is left to the discretion of the program participant. There is nothing included in the program regulations that forbids 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. However, they must pass a background check.

The Hart-Supported Living Program is administered by the Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

All Kentucky residents with disabilities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are eligible to apply for assistance via 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.

Financial Requirements

Financially, an individual that has income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is eligible for this program. As of 2024, this amount is $3,765 a month. However, when determining eligibility, medically related expenses are deducted from an individual’s income.

An applicant who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically meets the income guidelines for this program.

Benefits and Services

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.

  • Community Resource Development (to encourage community participation and the forming of relationships).
  • Assistive technology and services such as PERS (medical alert service).
  • Durable Medical Equipment, such as wheelchairs.
  • Home modifications related to an applicant’s disability, such as wheelchair ramps, walk in tubs, and stair lifts.
  • Vehicle modifications to accommodate for a disability, such as hand controls and lifts.
  • Start-up grants to accommodate a move to a new home, such as security deposit and purchasing furniture.
  • Personal / attendant care services to assist with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, mobility, and dressing.
  • Homemaker services, such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and shopping for essentials.
  • Respite care.
  • Accompaniment services for transportation.
  • Live-in Support.
  • Skill training, such as cleaning, meal preparation, and laundry.

Expenses associated with rent, mortgages, medical bills, automobile purchases, and health insurance are not covered by this program.

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How to Apply / Learn More

Applications are submitted to and reviewed by the Regional Hart-Supported Living Coordinators. Contact information for each Regional Coordinator can be found here. Look for the coordinator that serves your county. Or one can call 502-564-6930 or send an email to [email protected]

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. If an applicant applied for funds and did not receive funding, he or she must apply again the following fiscal year. The program does not maintain a waiting list.

More information about the program can be found here and here.

The Hart-Supported Living Program is not an entitlement program. Assistance is dependent on the availability of funds and this can change from year to year.