LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The developmentally disabled waiting list became a bit of a topic during the special session as part of the debate against making income tax cuts.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Tuesday they have been aware of the issue for a while now.
The Arkansas Medicaid waiver provides services to those with intellectual disabilities, with the waiver covering about 500 Arkansans. However, there is a waiting list in the thousands to get those services.
All together there are 3,204 on the list.
Over half on the list have incomes low enough to qualify them for some Medicaid services, but the rest are getting none.
Hutchinson is requesting 200 additional slots and those will be funded with existing revenue.
He is also asking the general assembly at some point to add 37.6 million dollars to create more slots so that everyone on the list can be served by 2025.
Director of Disability Services, Melissa Stone, said this will help those who need services to live more normally.
“People have waited a very long time and because of this announcement we are now able to move quickly to get them the services they need to stay in their home and in the community,” Stone said.
Hutchinson said he hopes to take that action during the fiscal session, and once that is done, DHS will submit a request to add those slots progressively over the next three years.