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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I think my child has a developmental delay or disability. What should I do?

A. To get started, contact Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687 to speak to a DDS specialist.

Q. What services does Medicaid cover to serve people with developmental and intellectual disabilities?

A. If you have Medicaid health care coverage, specialized services are available. Please note that you first need to meet with your Primary Care Physician (PCP) to get prescriptions or referrals before you can get these services:

Q. My adult child has developmental disabilities, and I really need help caring for him. Are there services available?

A. If your adult child gets Medicaid health care coverage, he or she has some options for services:

To find out which services your child may qualify for, contact DDS Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687 to speak to a DDS specialist.

Q. I think my child may have autism. What services can help?

A. If you think your child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), first schedule an appointment with your child’s PCP to discuss your concerns about his or her development. Your child’s PCP will help you to get referrals to the clinicians who can conduct testing in order to diagnose ASD.

Once your child has an ASD diagnosis, he or she may be able to get services to help like Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy or the Autism Waiver. To find out how to get these services, contact DDS Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687 to speak to a DDS specialist.

Q. I’ve heard of something called the DD Waiver. What is it, and how can it help me?

A. Medicaid-eligible Arkansans of all ages with developmental disabilities may apply to get home- and community-based services through the Community Employment Support Waiver, or Developmental Disability Waiver, to allow them to live in the community rather than in an institution such as a nursing home or Intermediate Care Facility. Services for this Waiver are delivered by the Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) program and include:

Q. How can I apply for the DD Waiver?

A. To get started, contact DDS Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687. The specialist will help you with the forms you need to fill out to apply.

Q. I was approved for the DD Waiver, and I’m on the wait list. How can I find out what number I am on the list?

A. You can find out your wait list number by contacting Shelby Maldonado at Shelby.maldonado@dhs.arkansas.gov.

Q. What is a Human Development Center (HDC)?

A. Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) operates five Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) that provide 24-hour care to Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Four HDCs accept adults age 18 or over, and one HDC accepts adults as well as children younger than 18. The facilities are located in:

Four private Intermediate Care Facilities also provide placement only for children:

Q. What is an Independent Assessment, and how do I know if I need one?

A. Everyone who is on the DD Waiver is served by a PASSE. To help the PASSE best serve your needs, you need to get an Independent Assessment to measure what you do best and what skills you need help doing. A company named Optum performs these assessments for DHS, and Optum will contact you to set up a time that is best for you. If you’re wondering when your next one needs to happen, you can find out from Shelby Maldonado at Shelby.maldonado@dhs.arkansas.gov.

Q. What is a PASSE?

A. PASSE is a program that serves Medicaid clients with complex behavioral health, developmental, or intellectual disabilities. There are three PASSEs that monitor their clients’ health care needs, keep them healthy, and help them reach goals.

A Medicaid client’s services are managed and reimbursed by the PASSEs if the person:

Once a year during Open Enrollment in October, clients may choose to switch PASSEs.

Q. I have a PASSE, but my PASSE is denying a service I need. Can I contact someone at DHS to help?

A. We recommend you first call your PASSE to speak with them, but you may also contact the PASSE Ombudsman Office:


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Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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