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What Is the Medi-Cal Institutional Deeming Waiver?

What Is the Medi-Cal Institutional Deeming Waiver?

Published: Feb. 2, 2022Updated: Dec. 15, 2023

Medi-Cal's institutional deeming waiver is designed for individuals with developmental disabilities regardless of parental income, as long as your child’s personal income and resource levels fall below program thresholds.

Medi-Cal is a needs-based program that evaluates an applicant’s income and resources to determine eligibility. When a child with a disability lives at home with parents, or when an adult with a disability lives at home with a spouse, Medi-Cal will “deem” most of the parental or spousal income and resources to the applicant, which can render them ineligible for Medi-Cal (even if the deemed income isn’t enough to cover adequate care).

However, when a person resides in an institutional setting (such as a nursing home or a hospital), only the individual’s own income and resources may be counted for Medi-Cal eligibility. The waiver program for people with developmental disabilities was designed to prevent unnecessary institutionalizations by funding home and community-based services for Regional Center clients who live at home, but who would otherwise qualify for placement in a state-funded residential care facility. If your child meets the admission criteria for such a facility, Medi-Cal will only look at your child’s income and resources, without regard to parental income.

For more information about this waiver, see our article Medi-Cal’s Institutional Deeming Waiver 101.

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