Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver for Children and Adolescents with Serious Emotional Disturbances

Program Goal

To provide services and support to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families to enable them to remain at home and in the community.


  • Must be between 5 and 17 years of age, if enrolled prior to 18th birthday may remain in the Waiver up to the age of 21.
  • Have serious emotional disturbances.
  • Demonstrate complex health and mental health needs.
  • Require or be at imminent risk of needing psychiatric inpatient care.
  • Service and support needs cannot be met by one agency/system.
  • Have a consistent and viable living arrangement with family that is able and willing to participate in the waiver.
  • Appear to be capable of being cared for in the community with access to waiver services.
  • Be eligible for Medicaid; and
  • Parental income and resources are not considered when determining the child's eligibility for Medicaid.


The HCBS Waiver allows Medicaid to pay for some services not normally provided through Medicaid, including: care coordination; respite; family support services; intensive in-home services; crisis response and skill building services.

Although the Medicaid funding only applies to the child, it can be used to defray the costs of caring for the child at home. The waiver is operational in the five boroughs of NYC and all counties but Oneida, with capacity to serve 1,623 children.

For More Information

For more information about the HCBS Waiver for children with serious emotional disturbances, go to www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/guidance/hcbs/.

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Publication 0548
Revised 10/2013