Medicaid HCBS DD waivers
Developmental Disabilities

What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

​In March 2024, Governor Jim Pillen joined the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to announce a plan to eliminate the wait for developmental disabilities services to better support Nebraskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Read the DHHS News Release here.
 This is a breakthrough way to reimagine how services are offered to individuals with IDD in Nebraska and save taxpayer dollars. This is the first time in Nebraska history the DD Registry will be eliminated, which is a huge step forward to ensure all Nebraskans have the opportunity and support to live the Good Life. ​
Governor Pillen​, March 2024


DD Stakeholder Event

Discussion Topic - Assessment Tool Overview / July 2, 2024 / 2pm / View the detailed flyer​​​

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View Empowering Your Growth PDF

History of the Waitlist

The Waiting List was previously known as the Registry of Unmet Needs. In November 2008, there were 3,465 people on this list. At that time, people selected a "date of need" to indicate when they wanted to receive developmental disabilities services. People could move their "date of need" or refuse a waiver offer and remain on the list. 

In 2017, the Registry changed to a "true" waiting list, and when someone refused a waiver offer, they were removed from the list. If they decided they wanted services in the future, they needed to submit a new application. In order to be on this list, a person had to be eligible for Nebraska Medicaid or be a minor.  

As of 2017, the list is again known as the "Registry." Many people on the list are not "waiting" but are getting some type of state-funded service. As of March 1, 2024, there were 2,704 eligible Nebraskans waiting for developmental disabilities services.​

​The Current Waitlist

​As of April 1, 2024, there are 2,712 people on the Waitlist. 

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1,204 people on the list currently receive a service.
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About 2/3 of those on the list are male.
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1,869 of those on the list are 21 years old or younger.


​​The Waitlist Dashboard

A statistical dashboard will be added to this webpage as the project continues. 


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View Timeline PDF

Phase 1: March 2024 - August 2024

March 2024
  • Announcement of the Waitlist Elimination.
  • Family Support Waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Family Support Waiver First round of offers. (Offers To continue monthly.)

April – May  2024

  • Internal DHHS Discussions – Cross Divisional
  • External Stakeholder Townhall meetings begin.
  • Continue Family Support Waiver Offers. 
  • Identify and publish Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Use funding from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to begin already-planned interRAI contract work.
  • Develop website to share information.

June – August 2024

  • Regulatory and Statutory needs – share with stakeholders for feedback.
  • Continue Internal DHHS Discussions – Cross Divisional.
  • Continue External Stakeholder Engagement.
  • Submission of State Plan Amendment (SPA): Katie Beckett (Medicaid).
  • Family Support Waiver Offers. Last round in August.

Phase 2: September 2024 Onward

September – December 2024

  • November – Tribal and Public Comment for Waiver Amendments
  • Identify and address appropriate support/waiver options for adults on the waitlist.

January – May 2025

  • January – June Legislative Session.
  • February - Submit any Waiver Amendments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • March/April - Make Day Service/Graduate annual offers.
  • Continue to Identify and address appropriate support/waiver options for adults on the waitlist.

June– September 2025

  • June – Projected Approval of Waiver Amendment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • July – Implementation of any Legislative changes.
  • Continue to Identify and address appropriate support/waiver options for adults on the waitlist.

October 2025

  • End of the Waitlist.


Dire​​ctor Green's Let's Talk 2024 Tour

DD Resources

Information on services and supports that may be available to meet a person's needs


Frequently Asked Questions​

My family member is currently on the Waitlist. What can I expect?

Once the waitlist is eliminated, DDD will begin offering eligible persons immediately available supports based on what they need. Supports may include Medicaid, Respite, Medically Handicapped Children's​ Program (MHCP), Service Coordination, or Waivers.

Re-Verification of developmental disabilities eligibility will continue to occur at ages 9 and 18 years.

If your needs rise to the level of a Priority 1 (you find yourself in crisis), contact DDD to be considered for the Comprehensive DD Waiver. 

The DD Adult Day Waiver will continue to be offered at age 21 years.

I currently receive Waiver services. Will I lose what I have as a result of the project to eliminate the Waitlist?

No. DDD is committed to ensuring people currently on waivers will continue to have access to the services they need. 

Will my Service Coordinator be able to help me?

Yes. DDD is invested in training all Service Coordinators (SC) in the full array of service and support options. They will be able to support you in determining what service would best meet your needs and will provide additional information about available services. ​

How will the provider network be able to handle serving more people?

DDD is committed to supporting and increasing the provider network in Nebraska. The following methods have been identified:

  • Updating the Agency Provider Directory and creating an Independent Provider Directory.
  • Creating a Fiscal Intermediary to implement full self-direction (Employer & Budget Authority).
  • Paying Family Caregivers, including Legally Responsible Individuals (LRI).
  • Enhancing Lifespan Respite, including equitable reimbursements.
  • Credentialing Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) through work with Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI).​
  • Provider rates increase another 2% in July 2024; this equates to a 36.6% increase since 2020. Additional reviews of agency provider costs and direct support wages are ongoing. ​

How can DDD afford this? Where is the money coming from?

The previously estimated amount to eliminate the Waitlist was based on a simple calculation of the number of participants on the waiting list multiplied by the average Comprehensive DD Waiver cost at the time. 

In the future, eligible participants will receive a variety of supports such as Medicaid, Respite, Medically Handicapped Children's Program, Service Coordination Only, or Waiver services. Each of these items has a different funding amount. 

Additionally, the $18 million does not include the available federal match. 

How will success be measured?

Success will be tracked and numbers shared via a data dashboard.

  • Success for Phase 1:  All children from birth to 21 years of age will remain on or be offered an available support option(s).
  • Success for Phase 2:  All adults over 21 years will be contacted to discuss current services or offered an available support option(s).
  • During both phases and ongoing, for any person entering a Waiver, DDD will track the date of their Individual Service Plan (ISP) completion to the date of their first delivered service. This will monitor for a “hidden waiting list."

Still Have Questions? Contact Us!
Division of Developmental Disabilities/ Department of Health & Human Services
Phone Number
(402) 471-8501
Toll Free Number
(877) 667-6266
Fax Number
(402) 742-2309
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 98947, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-8947