Georgia Community Care Services Program (CCSP) Medicaid Waiver

What is a Medicaid Waiver?
For persons with limited financial resources, Medicaid pays for nursing home care. For those who wish to live at home or in assisted living, sometimes Medicaid will pay for care in those locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home. It does this through "Medicaid Waivers."

Waiver Description

Georgia Medicaid’s Community Care Services Program (CCSP), also referred to as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver, is a program designed to help frail older adults remain living in their own homes or communities and to receive services in those locations as an alternative to nursing homes. Sometimes referred to as a nursing home diversion program, this type of program helps the state keep nursing home costs low and is generally preferred by families.

The state of Georgia allows participants in this waiver program a degree of freedom to direct the services that they want. This is sometimes referred to as ‘Cash and Counseling.’ This means individuals are empowered to choose their own personal caregivers.

In most states, this "consumer direction" of services is interpreted as having the ability to hire family members as paid caregivers. However, in Georgia, the rules are different. While it is legally possible to hire family members, in practice, this is exceedingly rare.  Persons should not pursue this program if their sole goal is to achieve compensation for a family member providing care. 

In July 2016, CCSP was moved from the Division of Aging Services in the Department of Human Services to the Department of Community Health. The Department of Community Health now manages both the home and community Medicaid waivers for Georgia’s seniors, including the SOURCE waiver. This reorganization does not impact the delivery of services and is only an internal change.

 CCSP waiver often has a waiting list and individuals are prioritized based on their levels of impairment and unmet needs.

Eligibility Guidelines

To qualify for the CCSP waiver, individuals must first qualify for Georgia Medicaid. Applicants must be a resident of Georgia and functional and financial eligibility requirements must be met. Functionally, applicants must require the level of care provided in a nursing home and must provide documentation from a doctor indicating this is the case.

Unlike some states, Georgia has the same income limits for individuals receiving care in nursing homes as those receiving care in the community (on HCBS waivers). For 2017, this monthly gross income limit is $2,205 (or $26,460 per year). Individuals over this income limit should work with a professional to have them set up a special income trust.

The value of an individual’s resources or assets, must be less than $2,000. Couples can retain up to $3,000 and if only one spouse applies than the couple can have $120,900 plus the individual asset limit of $2000. An exception to the income limit also exists when one spouse of a married couple is not applying for Medicaid. A certain percentage of their joint income can be shifted to the non-applicant spouse to provide them with a livable income. The asset limit excludes the applicant’s primary vehicle and the value of their home equity up to $560,000, given the applicant lives in the home.

 Persons with income or assets in excess of Medicaid limits or couples with only one spouse applying for Medicaid should consult with a professional Medicaid planner in advance of applying.  Free assistance is available. Read more.

 

Benefits and Services

The CCSP waiver provides a variety of services and supports to individuals in their homes or in non-nursing home residential care. Services are determined on a case-by-case basis and can include any of the following.  Program participants are given the flexibility (within limits) to select from whom they receive these care services.  Providers must be qualified and willing to accept the Medicaid payment rates.

  • Adult Day Health Care 
  • Alternative Living Services / Assisted Living Services
  • Errand Assistance
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Home Health Care – includes speech, physical, and occupational therapy
  • In Home and Out-Of-Home Respite Care
  • Personal Emergency Response Services – 24-hours per day / 7-days per week
  • Personal Support Services – Housecleaning, shopping, assistance with meal preparation, and assistance with activities, such as bathing, mobility, using the bathroom, etc. 
  • Self-Directed Personal Support Services – allows eligible applicants the flexibility to hire and manage the worker of their choosing

 

How to Apply / Learn More

More information about the CCSP waiver is available on this page. To apply for the program, individuals should contact their local Area Agency on Aging. Once the AAA has screened the applicant and there are available slots for new participants, then the applicant must complete the Medicaid application through the Division of Family and Children Services, if they are not already enrolled in Georgia Medicaid.