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Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) Provides Many Resources for Seniors

Under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) works with many community agencies to provide and oversee services to Seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans and others.

DHS is responsible for handling applications for Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS). LTSS are home and community-based services or services received in an institution. In order to qualify for Medicaid LTSS a person must be medically in need of service, have a low-income, and have personal resources (cash, savings etc) under $4000. If your income is higher than allowed, you may need to pay a share of the cost of the services you receive.

If you are determined you require the highest level of care, you may receive services in a facility such as a nursing home or in your own home.

If you are determined to require a high level of care you may be able to receive CNA services in your home, obtain certain home modifications, receive personal emergency response systems or a variety of other services that help you stay home. You may even be able to move into an Assisted Living.

If you aren’t able to qualify for Medicaid LTSS you still have options to help you stay home. DHS also oversees the Division of Elderly Affairs’ (DEA) Home and Community Care Co-Pay Program. The Co-Pay program requires you to need significant help to leave home and you must need (and accept) help with personal care such as bathing and dressing.

The Co-Pay Program is exactly what it sounds like-you pay part of the cost to receive personal care at home (or to attend adult day health) and DEA pays part of the cost. The Co-Pay Program has an income limit but does NOT have an asset limit like Medicaid LTSS.

If you qualify, DHS offers programs that can help you maintain your independence at home.

~Deb Burton, MS

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