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New Opportunities Waiver

In April 2003, the New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) was introduced, replacing the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled Waiver (MRDD Waiver). The NOW program is driven by the principles of self-determination and aims to enhance the existing family and community support systems. Its mission is to uphold dignity, promote quality of life, and ensure security in the daily lives of individuals, all while enabling them to remain active participants within their communities.

Team Meeting


The NOW includes an array of services aimed at assisting people to live as independently as possible. NOW services include the following:

  • Center-Based Respite

  • Community Integration and Development

  • Day Habilitation and Transportation

  • Prevocational Services

  • Environmental Accessibilities Adaptations

  • Housing Stabilization Services

  • Housing Stabilization Transition Services

  • Individualized and Family Support (IFS) Service Day & Night

  • One-Time Transitional Services

  • Personal Emergency Response System

  • Adult Companion Care

  • Professional Services

  • Self-Direction Option

  • Skilled Nursing Services

  • Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies

  • Substitute Family Care

  • Supported Employment and Transportation

  • Supported Living



The NOW is only appropriate for those individuals whose health and welfare can be assured via an Individual Support Plan and for whom home and community-based waiver services represent the least restrictive treatment alternative. The NOW is intended to provide specific, activity-focused services rather than continuous custodial care.

To qualify for the New Opportunities Waiver, a person must:

  • Meet Medicaid Eligibility AND

  • Be 3 years of age or older AND

  • Have an OCDD Statement of approval AND

  • Meet the Louisiana definition of Developmental Disability per Revised Statue 25:451.2 Paragraph (12) AND

  • Meet Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) Level of Care Criteria, AND

  • Have needs that cannot be met by another OCDD Waiver

Support Coordination utilizes the components of intake, assessment, service planning, linkage, monitoring / follow-up, reassessment and transition/closure. Eligibility is determined by requirements specific to each population.

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