Frequently Asked Questions

What are Home and Community Based Services?

HCBS is a Medicaid-funded program that provides qualified individuals with long-term support and services. It is designed to support children and youth with developmental and chronic conditions by helping them reach personal goals and achievements. Without the help of an HCBS program, families would need to place their child under institutionalized care such as at a hospital, residential, or nursing home. HCBS provides care in a flexible and non-restrictive way, enabling the child to remain at home and in the community.

Home and community-based services (HCBS) is for families with a child or adolescent who is eligible for Medicaid and meets the following criteria: 

  • The child has two or more chronic conditions 


  • The child has a single qualifying chronic condition and significant behavioral, medical, or social risk, or complex trauma.

What is an HCBS waiver?

HCBS stands for Home and Community-Based Services. It is a Medicaid program for families that need support for children and youth with developmental and other chronic conditions. 

Families with an HCBS waiver have qualified for services and can now receive the services and support they need for their youth. 

What services does HCBS cover?

HCBS covers any service that assists the child and family who qualifies for the program. This includes:

  • Caregiver or Family Support and Services
  • Respite
  • Community Habilitation
  • Prevocational Training
  • Environmental Adaptation and Modifications
  • Adaptive and Assistive Technology
  • Intensive Individual Support Services
  • Therapeutic Integration
  • Parent Training and Counseling
  • ABA Therapy
  • Expressive Therapies

What is ABA therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an interpersonal therapy focused on building skills through a scientific understanding of learning and behavior. It is commonly used to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, executive dysfunction, and social-emotional behavior delays

ABA therapy helps improve language and communication, attention and focus, social skills, memory, and academics. ABA teaches basic life skills using a scientific approach to help increase positive behaviors and decrease harmful behaviors. ABA therapy enables people with Autism and other developmental disorders to lead more successful lives.

How is ABA different from HCBS?

ABA therapy is a type of behavior therapy used to help individuals with neurodiversity learn appropriate behavior to help them succeed in school and in their daily lives. 

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) is a Medicaid program that provides support to families and children with chronic conditions and significant behavioral, medical, or social risk, or complex trauma. It is a payment method for the support a disabled child requires. 

ABA therapy is one of the services that is offered through HCBS to support children with neurodiversity. ABA therapy services can be paid for through the HCBS program or through one’s insurance provider.

Is my family eligible for HCBS?

HCBS is a Medicaid initiative designed to provide services for a child and their family at their location, as per their needs. Trained and experienced staff provides support for the family and gives compassionate care. To qualify for the program, a child must:

  • Be eligible for Medicaid
  • Be up to 18 years of age
  • Have a diagnosis for two or more chronic conditions


  • Have a diagnosis for single qualifying chronic condition and significant behavioral, medical, or social risk, or complex trauma

What types of conditions does Award Behavioral Health treat?

Award Behavioral Health treats a variety of chronic and developmental conditions, including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Executive Dysfunction
  • Social-emotional behavioral delays
  • ADHD & ADD
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