• Is your loved one among the thousands of people with I/DD who are languishing on the DDS residential waiting and planning lists with no hope and no plan for receiving services?
  • Are you looking for supports to build a full life and a better future in the community for your loved one with I/DD?


The Affordable Care Act created an optional state plan called Community First Choice (CFC) which will allow eligible individuals to access Personal Attendant Care (PCA) and other services and supports through self-direction.

Unlike DDS services and supports which can be denied based on available funding, CFC is an entitlement program for any Medicaid member who meets the “Institutional Level of Care” criteria. This includes all individuals who qualify for DDS services and supports.

Having said that, this program will not be the answer for all DDS families. In order to qualify for CFC you must be willing to self-direct services. This means you will need to hire and manage staff and you will not be able to receive residential supports through a community provider.

Applications for CFC funding must be made to the Department of Social Services (DSS), not the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

Be aware, this is a new program. There may be a long lag time,anywhere from 3-6 months or longer, between the time you complete your online application and the receipt of any notification from DSS. Hopefully the process will become more streamlined as the program becomes more established.

Find an online application for Community First Choice here:


What is Community First Choice?

Community First Choice (CFC) is a new program in Connecticut offered to active Medicaid members as part of the Affordable Care Act. This program allows individuals to receive supports and services in their home,whether it be a family home or a home of their own. These services can include, but are not limited to, help preparing meals and doing household chores, and assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, transferring, etc.). Educational services will be available to help increase independence, and learn how to manage your in-home staff.

Who is eligible? 

All individuals eligible for DDS services are eligible for CFC. CFC is open to any Medicaid member that can self-direct services and meets Institutional Level of Care. Institutional Level of Care means an individual would likely need to be in an institution, such as a nursing home, if they did not have home and community based services. This program allows an eligible person to have care and support in their home regardless of where that may be.

What is self-direction? 

Can my loved one with I/DD have help with self-direction? 

Self-direction is when an individual, a parent, a conservator or a guardian, makes the decisions regarding care and services. The individual or their designee has control over what services they want in the home, and they have the responsibility of managing those services. Self-direction is intended to promote personal choice and control during a person-centered planning process. If your loved one has a guardian, conservator or someone acting with Power of Attorney (POA), they can help  self-direct.

How does this affect those currently on a DDS waiver for Day & Employment and/or other DDS Services? 

Any individuals currently on a waiver will remain on that waiver. If you use self-directed Personal Care Assistants (PCA) on your waiver, you will automatically become a CFC participant for the covered services. Additional information will be provided by your Waiver Care Manager.


Please be aware that any funds you receive for DDS waiver services will be deducted from your CFC award.

For additional information about Community First Choice go to:


For more information contact Shannon Jacovino at

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