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Frequently asked questions

Benefits and eligibility

How can I find out if my family members or I are eligible for help?
You can click here to locate a Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) office in your area so that you can speak directly with a DADS employee. You can also visit the Your Texas Benefits website to find out if you may be eligible for help from any of the five Texas health and human services agencies. Please note that you must complete the application process to find out for which programs you are eligible.

What can I do if I am not eligible for any DADS services, but I still need help?
If you don't qualify for DADS services, there are still some resources available to you on the DADS website.

  • The 28 area agencies on aging (AAA) help Texans age 60 and older. Call them at 1-800-252-9240 to ask how they can help you.
  • The DADS Long-term Care Quality Reporting System lets you find and compare long-term services and supports providers. These include nursing facilities, home health agencies, adult day care and others.
  • Aging Texas Well helps individuals and communities prepare for aging in all aspects of life.
  • The Texercise fitness campaign helps educate and involve older Texans and their families in physical activities and proper nutrition.

I am moving to Texas; how will my benefits change?
If you are not a Texas resident and you want to receive Medicaid benefits, you will need to apply for Texas Medicaid. Please visit the Help for Texans website for information on how to apply for DADS services and supports.

How can I talk with a real person about getting help?
You can call 2-1-1 and talk to a person who knows about getting help in Texas. You can also contact your local DADS office. You can find the office by using the search tool on our website.

What types of services does DADS offer?
DADS offers an array of services for people with disabilities, older people and people who have intellectual disabilities. Please visit the DADS Help for Texans website for a full list of our services.

How do I apply for DADS services and supports?
Please visit the Help for Texans website for information on how to apply for DADS services and supports. You can also call 2-1-1 (or visit their website) for information about other local, state or federal services.

How can I get help with modifying my home so I can stay in it?
Please visit the Help for Texans website to learn about programs that can help you modify your home.

Your local AAA provides home repair services to people age 60 and older whose homes need to be repaired so they are safe to live in. Your local AAA may also know how to access other resources available in your community that provide help with home repairs. Contact your local AAA by calling 1-800-252-9240.

How do I apply for long-term care services such as a nursing facility, assisted living facility or intermediate care facility for persons with an intellectual disability?
Please visit the Help for Texans website to find out how to apply for DADS services and supports.

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What programs does DADS offer for people with intellectual disabilities?
If you or a family member has an intellectual or developmental disability, the first thing you need to do is contact your local authority. They can help you with:

  • Eligibility determination
  • Service coordination
  • Community support
  • Respite
  • Day habilitation
  • Employment assistance
  • Supported employment
  • Vocational training
  • Nursing
  • Behavioral support
  • Specialized therapies

Some specific DADS programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are:

In addition, DADS operates 13 state supported living centers that provide campus-based direct services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. State supported living centers provide 24-hour residential services, comprehensive behavioral treatment services and health care services, including physician services, nursing services and dental services. Other services include skills training; occupational, physical and speech therapies; vocational programs; and services to maintain connections between residents and their families and natural support systems.

What programs does DADS offer for people with physical disabilities?
DADS offers a number of programs to help both adults and children with physical disabilities. They include daytime programs, hospice, medical, personal care and transportation. Please visit the Help for Texans website to learn more.

Where can I find information on becoming a paid attendant for my child, spouse or relative?
This option is available only in certain DADS programs. Please contact your local DADS office to learn more. You can find your local office on the Help for Texans website.

What is Medicare Part D and where can I find out more about it?
Medicare Part D (also known as Medicare Rx) is a prescription drug benefit that began Jan. 1, 2006, for people who are eligible for Medicare. The program gives people a choice of prescription plans that offer various types of coverage. Some people may be eligible to receive a low-income subsidy to pay for premiums, annual deductible and co-payments. Medicare Rx affects certain consumers who receive DADS services, depending on their situation. You can learn more by calling your local AAA at 1-800-252-9240.

Can DADS help me with my prescriptions?
Your local AAA may provide health maintenance services to people age 60 and older. You can call them at 1-800-252-9240. Services may include medications, nutritional supplements, glasses, dentures, hearing aids or other devices. The AAA also knows how to access other resources in your community and can help with Medicare Rx.

Some DADS programs may also pay for your prescriptions if you are not already getting them through Medicare or Medicaid. Please visit the Help for Texans website to learn how to apply for DADS services and supports.

Where can I apply for disability benefits?
You apply for these benefits through the Social Security Administration. An application can be done

  • in person at your local Social Security Office,
  • over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213, or
  • online by completing an Adult Disability Report.

What is the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) and how does it affect me?
Medicaid pays for long-term care services for eligible Texans. If you are age 55 or older and you receive Medicaid, you may have to repay some of these costs. This is a federal government requirement. Click here to visit the MERP website.

MERP does not affect you or your property while you are still alive. The state will not take your home or place a lien on it while you are living. It also will not take your home if your spouse or your minor or disabled child survives you. The state will not file a claim if your estate is

  • worth less than $10,000 or
  • you received less than $3,000 in Medicaid services.

MERP may affect what your heirs will be able to inherit because all claims against your estate, including MERP, must be settled before anything can be passed on to your heirs. If the amount of the MERP claim is greater than the value of the estate, the state will not seek the difference from your heirs. If the amount of the MERP claim is less than the value of the estate, the state will seek only the amount of the claim. The state will not require the sale of the property if you heirs can pay the claim with other funds.

MERP is not intended to discourage people from applying for health care. If Medicaid did not exist and you needed long-term health care, you might have to sell your home to raise the funds to pay for it yourself. Medicaid lets you avoid doing that. In return, MERP is entitled to file a claim against your estate after you die.

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Updated: July 7, 2014