What is it?
HCS stands for Home and Community-Based Services. It is a Medicaid Waiver Program coordinated and monitored by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). It provides an array of services to people with intellectual developmental disabilities.
What services are available?
Services are determined based on individual needs, and can include the following:
• Nursing: A Nurse will be assigned to oversee the individual’s health needs.
They can provide direct nursing care and also help coordinate doctor’s appointments if desired.
• Day Habilitation: The individual can attend a Day Program 5 days a week, 6 hours a day.
The Day Program not only offers supervision and recreation, but individualized training programs
to help each person learn practical skills at their own level.
• Supported Employment: For individuals who want to work but need support to be able to do so,
a “job coach” can be assigned to go to work with the individual and help them learn their job responsibilities
and general work skills.
• Respite: Each year, the program allows for up to 300 hours of respite.
The purpose of respite is to offer temporary relief to the primary caregiver, and it can be provided
in the individual’s own home or at another location.
• Supported Home Living: Providers can go to the home and assist with daily activities such as meal preparation,
bathing, and grooming, and can also teach household skills such as cooking, cleaning, etc.
SHL also covers transportation to the Day Program and doctor’s appointments.
• Counseling and Therapies: These include physical, occupational, and speech therapies, counseling with a licensed
social worker, and behavior support services for individuals needing behavior programs.
• Dental: Medicaid does not cover dental services for people over 21.
The HCS Program can pay $1,000 per year for dental treatment.
• Adaptive Aids: Up to $10,000 per year for adaptive aids not covered by Medicaid.
• Minor Home Modifications: A lifetime maximum of $7,500 for modifications needed to make
the home accessible for the person.
• Foster Care: If the individual is 18 or over, the caregiver can be paid as a foster care provider.
• Out-of-home placement: HCS Programs offer 3- and 4-bed group homes in typical homes in the community.
Who is eligible for HCS Services?
To receive services, a person must have a diagnosis of mental retardation.
They must be eligible for Medicaid, and they must have an HCS slot.
How are HCS Services funded?
All HCS services are covered by Medicaid, and there is no cost to the family.
How can I learn more about local HCS Programs?
HCS describes the funding for the program, and the companies that actually provide the services do not always have “HCS” in their name. Some examples of local HCS Providers include Valley Family Limited, EduCare, Premiant, Jubilee, New Awakenings, etc. Tropical Texas Behavioral Health is the Local Authority (LA), and they maintain a list of all local providers. They can provide you with names, addresses and phone numbers of local providers. You can then call or visit the providers to learn more about them. While all HCS Programs are required to provide all of the services described, each program has its particular strengths and weaknesses.
How can I sign up for services?
While you may contact the Providers directly to learn about their programs, the only way to enroll for services is through Tropical Texas Behavioral Health. The steps are as follows:
• Tropical Texas Behavioral Health has offices in Harlingen, Brownsville, Weslaco, and Edinburg.
You can call their office directly or call toll-free Valley-wide at (800) 813-1233.
• Ask to be connected with the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Department (IDD).
When you tell them you are applying for services they will give transfer your call to an IDD Eligibility Worker
or their supervisor, Adalia Rebollar.
• The Eligibility Worker must determine that the individual has a diagnosis of mental retardation.
This may involve a meeting with a psychologist to do an assessment. This will be done at no cost to the family.
• Once it is determined that the individual is eligible for services, the Eligibility Worker will place their name
on an interest list. The list is quite long (estimated 10 years). There may be other services that you can receive
while you remain on the interestlist for HCS, and your Tropical Texas BH worker can explain these to you.
• The individual that handles the HCS Interest List for this area in Rosie Segura in the Edinburg office (956-289-7170).
We would suggest calling her about a month after you are notified that your son/daughter is on the interest list,
just to confirm that with her.
During the time that you are awaiting services, be sure to notify Tropical of any address/ telephone changes.
• When your son/daughter’s name comes to the top of the list, they are given their “HCS slot”.
You will be notified in writing of the services that HCS offers. The local Tropical Texas BH worker will contact you
and you will be given information on all the different HCS Programs in the area.
You will then be asked to choose a provider, and you may begin receiving services.
If at any point you are not satisfied, you will always have the freedom to transfer to a different provider.
You do not need to wait until your child leaves school to apply for or receive services. Due to the length of the waiting list,
it is strongly recommended that you apply as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel a strong need for these services now,
in a few years your needs may change.