Georgia SOURCE Medicaid Waiver

Page Reviewed / Updated - Apr. 2015

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," which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services.

Waiver Description

 SOURCE provides assistance for both medical care and non-medical, personal care.

SOURCE is an acronym for Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment. The program is designed for frail, elderly and disabled Georgians who require the level of care typically provided in a nursing home. However, this program allows eligible individuals to receive care in their homes or communities (such as assisted living residents or personal care homes) and avoid having to use long term nursing home care.  This program provides for both medical care and non-medical personal care services to very low income individuals. 

Originally this program was only available in certain areas of the state, but now it is open to residents statewide.  In 2014, over 20,000 Georgians received assistance under this program.  However, even with increased capacity, it is possible that a waiting list for services may exist.

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Eligibility Guidelines

The applicant's health and income and savings all both play a role in the eligibility requirements for the SOURCE Waiver. As the waiver is intended to divert individuals from nursing home placement, the first requirement is that they need nursing home level care.  Second, they must qualify financially.

This particular Georgia Medicaid waiver has income limits and financial resource limits that are slightly more restrictive than regular Georgia Medicaid. For 2015, the income limit for an individual is $ 733 / month and  less than $2,000 cash, savings, and other liquid assets. 

If that person is married and their spouse is not applying for Medicaid, the limits change. Spouses are allowed additional income and up to $119,220 in financial resources; their Community Spouse Resource Allowance.

It is possible to receive Medicaid even if one's income or assets are over the limits. Georgia has a Medically Needy Medicaid program that will considered persons with exceptionally high medical and care costs even though they are over the limits. Another option is to restructure one's finances through the creation of Medicaid exempt trusts and annuities so that their countable income and assets are within the acceptable limits. Persons hoping to qualify using this approach should be aware that legal or financial expertise is necessary. One can find Medicaid planning assistance here.

 Georgia residents might also find assistance from the CCSP Waiver.  Learn more.


Benefits and Services

Services are determined on a case-by-case basis and can include any of the following:

  • 24 hour Medical Access
  • Adult Day Health
  • Alternative Living Services
  • Emergency Response System
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Home Delivered Services
  • Personal Support Services


How to Apply / Learn More

More information about this program can be found on the Georgia SOURCE webpage.    One can apply for the SOURCE waiver by contacting their local Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children county offices. A list of contact information is available here.