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Understand Family Support Services

Family Support Services (FSS) is a state-funded, limited resource available to families to enhance their ability to provide in-home care to their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Examples of supports available under FSS include, but are not limited to:

  • Zagovaranje
  • After-school and school break programs
  • Adaptive equipment and environmental modifications
  • Behavioral management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Emergency fund/reimbursement
  • Family counseling and training
  • Family reimbursement
  • Recreation (day, evening, summer/day camp)
  • Respite (day, evening, overnight)
  • Short-term Case Management
  • Social skills training
  • Sibling programs
  • Prevoz


To qualify for FSS, the person with IDD must have OPWDD eligibility and reside at home with one or more non-paid family members or caregivers. However, the person does not need to be enrolled in Medicaid or a CCO to receive FSS. Priority is given to applicants with little to no formal support, beginning with those who do not have Medicaid. After this, those with Medicaid who may be enrolled in a CCO but are not yet enrolled in the HCBS waiver are chosen. Individuals already approved for and enrolled in the HCBS waiver must use those services first and are least likely to be approved for FSS. Active self-direction participants are not eligible for FSS as those services can be duplicated within their budget.

There are several barriers and challenges to obtaining FSS services, particularly reimbursement funds. Many families and caregivers are unaware of these services, particularly those with loved ones who have aged out of school and are not linked to other community supports. Individuals referred for FSS must exhaust all other funding and service sources before considering their application. This is often difficult for families and caregivers with limited finances, for whom English is not their first language, and those without access to resources such as technology and transportation. Finally, in the case of reimbursement, there must be significant clinical justification for the goods or services being purchased, even for those who are only seeking voucher reimbursement for respite.

Eligibility guidelines for reimbursement were updated in an Administrative Directive Memorandum (ADM) revised on June 27, 2022, with an effective date of July 1, 2022. This ADM contains a review of the criteria for approval for FSS goods and services, an in-depth explanation of the application and approval process, and a comprehensive list of reimbursable and non-reimbursable goods and services. For reference, please visit online.