Waivers to Help Special Needs Families

7 years 10 months 1 week ago Tuesday, October 05 2010 Oct 5, 2010 Tuesday, October 05, 2010 8:44:06 AM CDT October 05, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA - Eighty Boone County families will receive waivers for care of their family members with Development Disabilities.  The waivers are capped at $12,000 and are funded by county, state, and federal sources.  Before the prevention initiative, only families in "crisis" can receive waivers.

Les Wagner is the Executive Director of Boone County Family Resources. He says the organization will oversee the administration of the waivers. 

"This is a progressive idea," Wagner explained. "This is going to keep people in their homes and out of institutions."

The estimated cost of keeping someone in an institution in Missouri is about $175,000.  Only 18 cents of every dollar comes from a county property tax, 64 cents comes from medicaid and the state picks up the last 18.

"If we keep two people out of institutions, the County is going to come out way ahead."

Kim Humphreys' son Brock needs speech, motor, and occupational therapy. He has a waiver similar to the ones introduced under the new program.  Before Brock was born, Kim owned two Play it Again sports stores. 

"I used all my savings, my retirement, until I was broke," Humphreys explained.

Wagner said many of the waivers will not reach the $12,000 cap and said the organization will allocate any excess funds into new waivers for Boone County families who are on a waiting list. There are nearly 5,000 Missourians hoping for a waiver.

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