In the ever-changing world of DHS and Medicaid, we now have a new application for assistance. This happens every few years and here we are again.

Previously, when applying for state welfare benefits with DHS, there were several different applications to choose from. Now, with this recent change, there is one application, no matter what you are applying for.

This new, all-inclusive form is approximately 26 pages long. It covers all services: SNAP (food stamp program), TEA/RCA (Transitional Employment Assistance and Refugee Cash Assistance), and Health Care which seems to be the new language for Medicaid. You may hear DHS refer to what was once called Medicaid, as “Health Care.”

As we all know there are several kinds of Medicaid. The Health Care portion of the application is good to apply for many categories. TEFRA Is for children who have a disability who may not qualify for coverage in other situations. Autism services provides one-on-one treatment for children with autism between the ages of 18 months and 8 years. ARCHOICES is home and community based services for those who are aging or disabled. PACE is Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Assisted Living Services helps pay for assisted living facilities for beneficiaries and is much like Nursing Facility Assistance that pays for nursing home care.

There is also a DDS waiver that is known as Community Employment Support which provides services for adults with developmental disabilities so that they can live and participate in the community actively. There is also a Medically Needy Spend Down category that is short term coverage, (3 months) for those with high medical bills needing assistance, and Medicare Savings Program that provides coverage to supplement Medicare recipients with 4 levels of coverage: Arkansas Seniors, QI1, SLMB and QMB, based on income.

Upon speaking with several people with DHS, the goal is to streamline and simplify the application process. There is also a plan for all of this to be available on www.access.arkansas.gov very soon.

When filling this application out or anything with DHS, it is very important to also include a copy of proof of identity, proof of income and copies of resources. To be honest, the application process can be overwhelming. Even though this application seems to be “user friendly,” it is long. At allheart Senior Care, we have a social worker on staff who specifically assists people with things like this and are happy to help.

Amber Risner is a Social Worker for allheart Senior. She can be reached at 870-569-4058, amberl.allheart@gmail.com

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