While you are planning for your young adult’s high school senior pictures, prom, and graduation, we have some additional milestones for you. We wanted to make sure you have reminders as your high schooler with a disability edges toward 18 and then 21. 


18-Year-Old Milestones

If your young adult is on a Colorado Children’s Medicaid Waiver, you will need to make plans to transition him or her to a Colorado Adult Medicaid Waiver. The Resource Exchange suggests starting the process three months before his or her 18th birthday. There are several different adult waivers, so please ask questions to determine which program is the best choice for you and your child. 


At the age of 18, your ability to direct medical care on behalf of your young adult changes. Many parents who have an intellectually or developmentally disabled young adult apply for guardianship at this time. A “guardian” is someone the court appoints to ensure a minor child or incapacitated adult receives basic needs, such as food, housing, medical needs, and clothes. To apply for guardianship, you can either work with an attorney or purchase and complete the Guardianship Packet available for $40 through the Arc of the Pikes Peak Region. The Arc has also penned a blog post on A Roadmap for Guardianship Alternatives for your exploration.


If your young adult receives home healthcare, depending on which adult waiver you choose, he or she will have to be discharged from pediatric services and readmitted to adult services on their 18th birthday. The Outcome and Assessment Information Set, or OASIS, is a form specific to adults and must be completed and sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 


Finally, when a person is over the age of 18, they may apply for Supplemental Security Income, the Federal assistance program designed to provide income to blind or disabled people who have limited assets to support themselves. It is recommended to schedule an interview with Social Security immediately after your young adult turns 18. To receive SSI, a person must not have more than $2,000 in assets. SSI assists with payments for rent, utilities, groceries, and other necessary items. 


21-Year-Old Milestones

If your young adult has received home healthcare services by qualifying for Medicaid due to low income, at the age of 21, he or she will need to be placed on a Colorado Medicaid Waiver if you wish home health CNA services to continue. 


Additionally, at the age of 21, young adults needing occupational, physical, and speech therapies must transition to a clinical environment. Check with your therapy company to get more details on admissions and billing options.