(1) Application for services shall be made in writing to the agency, in the service area in which the applicant resides. The agency shall review each applicant for eligibility within 45 days after the date the application is signed for children under 6 years of age and within 60 days after the date the application is signed for all other applicants. When necessary to definitively identify individual conditions or needs, the agency shall provide a comprehensive assessment. Only applicants whose domicile is in Florida are eligible for services. Information accumulated by other agencies, including professional reports and collateral data, shall be considered in this process when available.
(2) In order to provide immediate services or crisis intervention to applicants, the agency shall arrange for emergency eligibility determination, with a full eligibility review to be accomplished within 45 days of the emergency eligibility determination.
(3) The agency shall notify each applicant, in writing, of its eligibility decision. Any applicant determined by the agency to be ineligible for developmental services has the right to appeal this decision pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
(4) The agency shall assess the level of need and medical necessity for prospective residents of intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled. The agency may enter into an agreement with the Department of Elderly Affairs for its Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term-Care Services (CARES) program to conduct assessments to determine the level of need and medical necessity for long-term-care services under this chapter. To the extent permissible under federal law, the assessments shall be funded under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
(5) Except as otherwise directed by law, beginning July 1, 2010, the agency shall assign and provide priority to clients waiting for waiver services in the following order:
(a) Category 1, which includes clients deemed to be in crisis as described in rule.
(b) Category 2, which includes children on the wait list who are from the child welfare system with an open case in the Department of Children and Family Services’ statewide automated child welfare information system.
(c) Category 3, which includes, but is not required to be limited to, clients:
1. Whose caregiver has a documented condition that is expected to render the caregiver unable to provide care within the next 12 months and for whom a caregiver is required but no alternate caregiver is available;
2. At substantial risk of incarceration or court commitment without supports;
3. Whose documented behaviors or physical needs place them or their caregiver at risk of serious harm and other supports are not currently available to alleviate the situation; or
4. Who are identified as ready for discharge within the next year from a state mental health hospital or skilled nursing facility and who require a caregiver but for whom no caregiver is available.
(d) Category 4, which includes, but is not required to be limited to, clients whose caregivers are 70 years of age or older and for whom a caregiver is required but no alternate caregiver is available.
(e) Category 5, which includes, but is not required to be limited to, clients who are expected to graduate within the next 12 months from secondary school and need support to obtain or maintain competitive employment, or to pursue an accredited program of postsecondary education to which they have been accepted.
(f) Category 6, which includes clients 21 years of age or older who do not meet the criteria for category 1, category 2, category 3, category 4, or category 5.
(g) Category 7, which includes clients younger than 21 years of age who do not meet the criteria for category 1, category 2, category 3, or category 4.
Within categories 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, the agency shall maintain a wait list of clients placed in the order of the date that the client is determined eligible for waiver services.
(6) The client, the client’s guardian, or the client’s family must ensure that accurate, up-to-date contact information is provided to the agency at all times. The agency shall remove from the wait list any individual who cannot be located using the contact information provided to the agency, fails to meet eligibility requirements, or becomes domiciled outside the state.
(7) The agency and the Agency for Health Care Administration may adopt rules specifying application procedures, criteria associated with wait-list categories, procedures for administering the wait list, and eligibility criteria as needed to administer this section.