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 MFTD Waiver Families

Support for families of children in the Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent Waiver

Applying for the MFTD Waiver

The MFTD Waiver (also called the DSCC Home Care Program) is open to any family, regardless of income, whose child uses medical technology and requires skilled nursing care every day. While most children on the waiver have a trach or central line, some children with a G-tube or BiPAP and complex medical needs may qualify. Fill out the application whether or not you think you will be accepted. You can take a look at the Level of Care Tool to determine whether your child will score enough points to qualify. Your child must score points on the Technology section, and must receive a score of at least 50 total points to qualify.

See MFTD Benefits to find out what benefits your child will receive through this program.

The process of getting on the MFTD Waiver can be difficult and tedious. We suggest you send us an email at mftdwaiver@gmail.com so we can help you further. The first step is filling out an application and submitting it to your local DSCC office.

You will also need a letter from your child's physician outlining why your child needs to be a part of the MFTD Waiver. We highly suggest working with your physician to provide some of the included information, as your physician may not know all of your child's specialists or needs.

Evaluations and Point Systems

Illinois currently uses the Level of Care assessment to determine eligibility for the MFTD program. It is performed every 6-12 months to ensure a child remains eligible. Children must score at least 50 on this tool, and points must be awarded for technology. Click here to view a blank version of the Level of Care Tool, and here to view the manual for scoring it. 

Previously, the state had been conducting a second medical assessment using the MNNS checklist and an outside vendor to award "budgets" instead of a number of nursing care hours. Due to a lawsuit now in settlement talks, the state is no longer using this system. As this lawsuit progresses, we will keep everyone updated on changes in this process. 

Note that under this pending lawsuit, the state is not allowed the reduce the hours/budget of any child currently receiving home nursing. However, we have received reports that budgets are being reduced as children are transferred from the NPCS program to the MFTD program, and that budgets are beginning to be reduced for children currently in the MFTD waiver. Attorney Bob Farley has filed a document alleging the state has willfully violated the judge's orders.

Documents:

Transition for Young Adults

The waiver has been amended to allow young adults already in the waiver to remain in the waiver through adulthood. In other words, the waiver is available to all ages as long as a child enters the waiver before age 21. Previously, young adults who have been part of the MFTD Waiver were entitled to receive the same level of services after their 21st birthdays under a settlement, Hampe v. Hamos. If a young adult has already reached age 21 and has never been in the MFTD Waiver, he/she unfortunately is not eligible for the MFTD waiver under the amended waiver or this settlement.

While most young adults remain with DSCC and continue receiving services in the model of the MFTD Waiver, they may also choose to transition to adult programs, typically the Persons with Disabilities Waiver (operated by Division of Rehabilitation Services [DRS or DORS] and part of the Home Services Program) or the Adults with Developmental Disabilities Waiver.  If a young adult selects one of the adult programs, he/she is bound by the rules of that program. Because only limited hours of home nursing care are available through adult programs, this may lead to a dramatic reduction in private duty nursing care. We suggest remaining with DSCC in the MFTD waiver and not transitioning to an adult program. We have been informed that many families are being encouraged to switch to adult programs with a promise that they will receive more hours of service. These hours, however, are NOT hours provided by a nurse, but hours provided by an unskilled personal attendant.