Independent Choices

What is Independent Choices?

The Independent Choices program is an alternate way for you to receive Medicaid in home services. Independent Choices is a flexible program that lets you take charge of your own needs by providing cash benefits for in-home services. The monthly benefit allows you to hire your own service providers and pay them directly.

Am I eligible for Independent Choices?

You must:
• Be eligible for Medicaid long-term services in your home;
• Have had a stable living situation for the past three months as shown
by managing your money to meet your food, shelter and personal care needs;
• Have the ability to choose your own service providers and train them to provide
the help you need in your own home;
• Pay the service provider for work performed; and
• Maintain a designated bank account separate from your other bank accounts
for direct deposit of the Independent Choices cash benefit. 

What are the differences between traditional Medicaid in home services and Independent Choices?

Under traditional Medicaid services:
• You pay DHS for your share of your services, and DHS pays the provider;
• An NWSDS Case Manager designates the services that must be provided; and
• Your provider must work for the established Medicaid rate.

With Independent Choices:
• You will receive a monthly, direct deposit cash benefit based on an NWSDS Case Manager’s determination of your service needs;
• You will use that money to pay your service provider directly for your in-home services;
• You are not limited to paying your service provider the established

Medicaid rate;

• Your funds in the designated account will not be counted as a resource toward other government or community assistance programs such as Social Security or low income assistance programs; and
• You may have someone else like a family member or friend act as your representative and take on all of the financial, tax and legal obligations.

How do I apply for Independent Choices or get more information on this program?

If you would like more information or would like to apply for Independent Choices, please contact an Information and Assistance Specialists for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties at (503) 304-3420, or toll-free at 1-866-206-4799. For Clatsop and Tillamook counties you can call (503) 815-2060 or toll-free at 1-800-584-9712.

You can also email us at information.nwsds@nwsds.org

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