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Guidance: Environmental Accessibility Adaptations (Home Mods)

Updated April 10*

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) remains dedicated to public health and safety as the department responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency.

DODD recognizes the need for environmental accessibility adaptions, known as “home modifications” or “home mods,” under the Individual Options (IO) and Level One waivers, and through the Self-Empowered Life Funding (SELF) Waiver using the Participant-Directed Goods and Services (PDGS) service.

During the current state of emergency, DODD requests and encourages county boards and providers to comply with Governor Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines to safeguard the developmental disabilities population, direct support staff, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

DODD is asking county boards and providers to place these requests on hold, unless the request is needed because there is an immediate risk to health and welfare for the person receiving services, such as the installation/upgrade of electrical work to support life-sustaining equipment, such as ventilators. If a home modification has been completed and is awaiting approval for payment, the service and support administrator (SSA) can use telephone or email to obtain approval of the completion/satisfaction of work in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. Verification of work should occur at the next face-to-face meeting, as appropriate.

If bids or construction are in process, it is up to the person receiving services or the guardian’s and provider’s discretion whether to proceed at this time, based on immediate risk to health, safety, and welfare. If all parties agree to proceed, county boards will need to ensure all necessary safeguards and risks have been weighed and there is a plan in place to follow infection control and social distancing guidelines during completion of the bid or work.  

If county boards are utilizing the prior authorization process for their IO Waiver recipients for a home modification, DODD is asking for these to be put on hold and not submit at this time. For those already submitted, DODD will respond to the county board with a request that it be withdrawn during this state of emergency and resubmitted when the emergency has passed. 

DODD is not denying the request but is unable to support the request, unless it meets the immediate risk to health, safety, and welfare as noted above, and all appropriate documentation is included.