The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Final Rule is a federal policy change announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January 2014 to make sure that people with disabilities have the kinds of services they need in their communities.

About The HCBS Settings Rule

The Rule sets requirements for where and how Medicaid HCBS are provided to ensure that people receiving services through Medicaid HCBS waiver programs have full access to community life. This means that services should be provided in the most integrated setting possible, and must provide opportunities for integration and access to the community, choice, individual rights, and independence.

Throughout the planning and implementation process to comply with the Rule, states will ask stakeholders for input about the services they receive, the places where services are provided, and changes that could be made to help them get the community lives they want. Some people with developmental disabilities may need assistance to think about how their services could better support them in their communities and to advocate for their right to a community life.

This guide prepares you for HCBS advocacy with information about the Rule and tools to share about your experience receiving services.

Steps To Advocating For Community Life

  1. Learn about the HCBS Settings Rule
  2. Think about your life and your services
  3. Advocate for the community life you want
  4. Find organizations that can help