Page Reviewed / Updated – April 1, 2023

Waiver Description

The HOPE Waiver is a Medicaid program that provides services to nursing home qualified individuals in their homes, community living homes, structured family caregiving homes, or in assisted living communities, provided the cost to care for individuals in those locations does not exceed 85% of the cost for the same care in a nursing home.

Program participants can receive personal care and assistance with their activities of daily living. Additional benefits may include homemaker support, delivered meals, and assistance for home modifications to improve a home’s safety and accessibility. Please make note: Not all benefits are available in all living settings.

Unlike many state waivers of similar design, the South Dakkota HCBS Waiver does not allow for participant direction of services. This means it does not permit beneficiaries to choose their own caregivers or hire family members to serve in that capacity.

Please Note: In 2018, the Home & Community Based Waiver Services for the Elderly (HCBS) was renamed the Home & Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver. Administrative responsibility changed to the Department of Human Services, Division of Long Term Services and Supports (DHS-LTSS). Aa physician’s order is no longer required for eligibility. However, a Community Health Assessment (CHA) is still required.

Eligibility Guidelines

South Dakota Medicaid considers multiple criteria for eligibility for the Hope Waiver. The following is current for 2023.

General Requirements

Functional Ability
Persons 65 and older qualify if they require nursing home care. Persons 18-64 qualify if they have a formal designation of disabled by the Social Security Administration.

Financial Requirements

Income Limits
Applicants seeking assistance from this waiver are permitted a monthly income of up to three times the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). This means an applicant can have an income level up to $2,742 per month. If the applicant is married, his or her income will be considered independent of his or her spouse’s income. A limited amount of joint income (up to $3,715.50 / month) can be allocated to the non-applicant spouse from the applicant spouse as a needs allowance.

Asset Limits
Single or widowed applicants are permitted $2,000 in countable assets. Married couples with one spouse living independently and one applying for long-term Medicaid are permitted higher countable assets. The applicant is limited to $2,000, but the non-applicant is permitted up to $148,620. The house in which the applicant or his or her spouse lives is not included, given the equity value is under $688,000, when determining their countable assets, nor is their vehicle, provided it is in use.

Over the Financial Limits?

SD State residents whose finances are above these limits can sometimes still qualify for Medicaid by re-organizing the structure of their resources. Read more about this option.

Please note that South Dakota does not offer a Medically Needy pathway into Medicaid.

Benefits and Services

Each applicant receives an Individual Care Plan in which his or her needs and the services to fulfill those needs are specified. Potential benefits include the following:

  • Adult Day Services / Adult Day Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Community Living Home
  • Companion Services
  • Community Transition Supports & Coordination
  • Emergency Response System
  • Homemaker & Chore Services
  • Home Modifications
  • Meals and/or Nutritional Supplements
  • Personal Care
  • Private Duty Nursing
  • Respite Care
  • Specialized Medical Equipment/Disposable Supplies
  • Structured Family Caregiving 

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How to Apply / Learn More

HCBS Waivers typically have enrollment caps. It is possible that waiting lists exist, but this is not usually the case in South Dakota. To learn more or to apply, persons can visit their local Department of Human Services office or call the Aging & Disability Resource Connections (ADRC) toll-free number in their geographic area.

Rapid City – 855-315-1986
Pierre – 855-642-3055
Watertown – 855-315-1987
Mitchell – 855-315-1988
Sioux Falls – 877-660-0301

For more information about the HOPE Waiver, click here.