The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver (CADI), formerly called the Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals Waiver, is a statewide program that provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to help them with the cost of services that enable them to remain living independently. This program enables persons who would otherwise require nursing home admittance to continue living in their own home, a relative’s home, an adult foster care home, or an assisted living facility. An array of benefits are available. They include personal assistance, adult day care, homemaker services, respite care, and home modifications.
While this program is intended for individuals under the age of 65 at the time of enrollment, a senior may either continue on this waiver after the age of 65 or enroll in the Minnesota Elderly Waiver.
CADI allows for Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS). It allows for consumer direction or self-direction of certain services and benefits. They include vehicle and home modifications, as well as personal care services. It also includes homemaker services, respite care, and assistance with day-to-day activities. Family members, such as adult children, may be hired given they are qualified for the necessary services. Spouses and other legal guardians are eligible to be paid caregivers.
This waiver is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Division of Disability Services.
To be eligible for this waiver, there are multiple criteria that must be met.
Minnesota residents must be under the age of 65 and must require a nursing home level of care. Individuals must be certified as disabled by the Social Security Administration or via the state medical review team. Depending on the level of disability, it may be possible that early-onset Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia could qualify an individual as disabled. The individual must also require a greater level of support than is offered via Medical Assistance (MA), which is the Medicaid program for Minnesota for low-income residents.
The CADI waiver also has income and asset requirements. Individual applicants cannot have an annual income greater than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). As of 2023, this figure is equivalent to $1,215 a month. For married couples with both spouses as applicants, the monthly income limit is $1,644.
When just one spouse of a married couple is an applicant, the non-applicant spouse’s income is not calculated toward the income eligibility of the applicant. Furthermore, in some cases, the applicant spouse is able to transfer up to $3,715.50 of their monthly income to the non-applicant spouse to prevent impoverishment of that spouse. This income allowance is a spousal impoverishment rule to prevent the non-applicant spouse from becoming impoverished.
The asset limits vary with the age of the candidate. For most single participants, the individual may have assets up to $3,000 in value. Married couples (both spouses as applicants), can retain up to $6,000 in assets.
Make note, if married, assets are considered jointly owned even if only one spouse of the couple is applying for waiver services. (Learn more here). However, there is a resource allowance in place to protect the non-applicant spouse, often referred to as the community spouse, from becoming impoverished. As of 2023, the non-applicant spouse can retain assets up to $148,620. This is independent of the $3,000 the applicant spouse is able to keep. Some assets are exempt, such as the applicant’s home, if the applicant (or his or her spouse) lives in the home and the equity is valued under $688,000.
Being over the income and / or asset limits does not mean one cannot still qualify for this waiver program. Professional Medicaid planners have extensive knowledge and expertise in the restructuring of finances in order to assist one in meeting the limits. That said, it is vital one does not gift assets or sell them cheaply in an attempt to lower countable assets. Doing so can violate Medicaid’s look back period and result in Medicaid disqualification.
The CADI waiver includes many benefits and services in a variety of settings. They include the home of an eligible applicant, the home of a family member, a foster home, or an assisted living facility. Services are covered in these living environments, but the participant’s rent and basic living costs are not covered.