Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

N.C. Innovations Waiver

The N.C. Innovations Waiver is a home and community-based service funded by Medicaid. The Innovations Waiver program provides services and support that allow people with an intellectual or developmental disability to live as independently as possible within their communities—rather than in an institution such as a developmental center.

NC DHHS Home & Community Based Services

We manage and provide care coordination for N.C. Innovations Waiver participants. First, our care coordinators work with you and your family to develop an Individual Support Plan (ISP). The ISP identifies the best services to meet your individual needs and ensures you receive the necessary support to stay healthy and safe. Care coordinators can also help with any additional problems Innovations Waiver participants face.


N.C. Innovations Waiver supports daily activities such as bathing, eating, working, developing friendships and living an active lifestyle within your community. Innovations services are based on your individual needs and may include:

  • Community networking
  • Day support
  • In-home intensive support
  • In-home skill building
  • Personal care services
  • Respite
  • Supported employment
  • Assistive technology equipment and supplies
  • Community guides (See below)
  • Transition from a facility to your community
  • Crisis services
  • Home modifications
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Natural support education
  • Specialized consultation services
  • Individual goods and services needed to live independently

A community navigator helps you advocate for yourself while also providing the support you need to pursue a life that is meaningful to you. Community navigators can help you make connections with people and activities in your community, and assist in finding the resources you need to achieve your goals.

To be eligible for N.C. Innovations, an individual must provide documentation of an intellectual or developmental disability that impairs functioning (other than mental illness.) Individuals must also be at risk of placement in a developmental center.

Notice of Class Action Settlement: In accordance with the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ December 2014 settlement in L.S. v. Brajer, 5: 11-CV-354, please refer to the Appendix to LME/MCO Training regarding the Plan of Care (ISP) process for Innovations Waiver participants. To the extent that any of the information in the appendix is inconsistent with information appearing in any handbook or publication issued by Vaya Health, this document supersedes any inconsistent information appearing in the handbook or publication.

Self Direction is an opportunity to make your own decisions and take responsibility for them.  It can provide more flexibility and the opportunity to take greater control of your life. An Individual, parent or the legally responsible person may choose to direct one or more of their Innovations Waiver Services.


You can choose to direct any or all the following Innovations services:

  • Community Navigator
  • Community Living and Support
  • Community Networking
  • Natural Supports Education
  • Supported Employment
  • Individual Goods and Services
  • Respite


There are two models to choose from: Agency with Choice, or Employer of Record.


In the Agency with Choice Model you partner with a provider to hire, supervise  and  support workers. The provider will provide support with training, payment and administrative duties. You or your legally responsible person is known as the Managing Employer.


In the Employer of Record Model, you, your family or legally responsible person will hire,  supervise and manage support workers. A Financial Support Service Provider, will pay staff and handle administrative duties and assist in managing your budget. The Employer of Record participates in plan development, schedules, trains and supervises staff and ensures the participants health and safety.


What is a Community Navigator? A Community Navigator is employed by an agency to assist individuals in accessing community resources, navigating self-directed services, and many other non-Medicaid supports.  If you are interested in learning more,  a Community Navigator can provide information and training about directing your services.  After the training, you can choose whether to self direct or not.  If you choose to continue, the Community Navigator can be a resource for ongoing training and support.


Your Care Coordinator can update your Individual Support Plan and request Community Navigator be added to the plan whenever you choose.


A Representative  may be selected, if needed to assist you with directing your services.



  • Greater control and flexibility about the services you receive
  • Make your own decisions and plans for your future
  • Decide what type of support you want and need to live your life
  • Choose who to hire and how to train service providers
  • Improved quality of services
  • Increased independence and self-sufficiency

Please note: you do have the option of returning to Provider Directed Services if at any time you wish to discontinue self directing services.

If you are participating in Innovations waiver services and would like more information or to begin self-directing your services, please contact your Care Coordinator.



For those who choose to participate in Employer of Record or Agency with Choice models, the following information may be helpful.


NC Innovations Forms



Short Term Goal Writing Information from Clinical Coverage Policy 8A

Check here for more resources.

Individuals/Providers needing more information may email us at

Supports Intensity Scale (SIS®)

The Supports Intensity Scale is a nationally-recognized assessment tool that identifies the support needs of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability.

There are two versions of the SIS® assessment: one for adults and one for children. Assessments are conducted by certified SIS® assessors. All assessments include people the participant knows well, such as their family members, guardians, friends, staff from residential settings or day programs, teachers and personal caregivers.

The information gathered from SIS® interviews is used to help develop Individual Support Plans (ISPs) for members. After the first assessment, children will receive new assessments every two years; adults will receive new assessments every three years. A major life change or event may trigger the need to conduct a new SIS® prior to the regularly scheduled re-assessment date.

Call 1-800-849-6127 toll free 24/7 to access mental health, substance use and intellectual and/or developmental disability services. Members can request materials in Spanish or English.

Llamar al número gratuito 1-800-849-6127 24/7 para obtener servicios y apoyo a la salud mental, discapacidades de desarrollo y abuso de sustancias. Los miembros pueden solicitar materiales en español o Inglés.