What is the Michelle P. Waiver?

Michelle P. Waiver is home and community-based waiver program of the Kentucky Medicaid program. The Michelle P. Waiver program is designed to serve as an alternative to institutional care, where individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities can live at home with supportive services.

In 2002, Michelle Phillips sued the state of Kentucky because there weren’t enough community based services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At the time of the lawsuit, the Supports for Community Living (SCL) Waiver, a Kentucky Medicaid home and community-based waiver, had 3,000 people on the waiting list. The lawsuit, which made its way to federal court, resulted in an expansion of Kentucky Medicaid services. As a result, in 2008, the state agreed to start a new waiver to serve individuals on SCL waiver waiting list, which would later be called the Michelle P. Waiver.

One of the main differences between the Michelle P. Waiver and the SCL Waiver is that the Michelle P. Waiver limits individual services to 40 hours per week. The SCL Waiver allows for more than 40 hours of services a week and offers the option of residential services. It’s also important to note that individuals cannot be on the Michelle P. Waiver and the SCL Waiver at the same time.

The services available through the Michelle P. Waiver include:

  • Case Management
  • Adult Day Training
  • Supported Employment
  • Community Living Supports
  • Behavior Supports
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Respite
  • Homemaker Service
  • Personal Care
  • Attendant Care
  • Environmental/Minor Home Adaptation
  • Adult Day Health Care

Michelle P. Waiver eligibility

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services defines eligibility for the Michelle P. Waiver as “people with a developmental or intellectual disability who require a protected environment while learning living skills, educational experiences, awareness of their environment and meet Medicaid financial eligibility requirements are eligible.”

How to apply for the Michelle P. Waiver

Individuals or families can apply for Medicaid or Medicaid Waivers online through the Benefind Self Service Portal.

For more information about the Michelle P. Waiver and the application process, visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dms/mpw.htm.