News & Information > News Releases

August 12, 2021

Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

APD Offers Waiver Enrollment to
Individuals on Waiting List

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) offering Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver enrollment to individuals on the waiver waiting list, advocates are applauding Governor Ron DeSantis’ commitment to serving people with disabilities in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis and the Legislature allocated $95 million for APD to enroll approximately 1,900 people on the waiting list who are in categories 1 through 5.

“The state of Florida continues to invest in its citizens including individuals with unique abilities,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our state is making an historic investment by allocating $95 million to serve people on the waiting list this year. This money helps individuals achieve their goals including the opportunity to find employment, an important step towards independence.”

"I am so excited to welcome new individuals into the iBudget Florida waiver so they may receive services in their communities,” said APD Director Barbara Palmer. “We are staggering enrollment of the 1,900 people over the fiscal year to ensure APD is able to meet the needs of customers as they go through the enrollment process. With the continued support of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, we are making a huge difference in people’s lives.”

As the Governor’s statewide Council representing the nearly half million Floridians living with developmental disabilities and their families in Florida, we so appreciate the Governor’s support for the $95 million appropriated by the Legislature to take individuals off the iBudget Florida waiver waiting list,” said Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Valerie Breen. “These dollars should help hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families access critical and necessary services to remain at home and in their communities.”

“Family Care Council Florida appreciates the support the Governor and the Legislature have given to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities concerning the iBudget Florida waiver,” said Family Care Council Chair Dina Justice. “By allowing individuals to move from the waiting list, they will be able to stay in their family homes and participate in community activities. We are pleased that many of our individuals will receive the supports and assistance they desperately need.”

“As a result of the Governor’s commitment to individuals on the waiting list, members of SCAF are pleased to see that during the upcoming fiscal year 1900 individuals will be receiving letters for waiver enrollment,” said Support Coordinators Association of Florida Chairperson Laura Mohesky. “Waiver Support Coordinators will be there to assist individuals by providing the resources needed to improve their quality of life and increase independence. The choice of a Waiver Support Coordinator is an important decision. It is our hope that individuals new to the waiver will take every opportunity to interview coordinators asking questions until they find the right fit.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis and Director Palmer for their leadership and commitment to the disability community. We are excited to see so many individuals offered the vital services they need while significantly reducing the waiver waiting list,” said Association of Support Coordination Agencies in Florida Chairman Ryan Chandler. “Waiver Support Coordinators are ready to coordinate services and supports for these individuals as they enroll onto the waiver.

“Thank you, Governor, Legislators, and APD Director Palmer for your commitment to serving people with unique abilities. I am excited the state is enrolling individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the Home and Community-Based Services iBudget Florida waiver which allows people to live their lives as valued members of their communities,” said The Arc of Florida President and CEO Alan Abramowitz. “The waiver is all about providing opportunities to people at the local level. We are here to help them be successful so they may live, work, and participate in their communities.”

The waiver pays for community supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities so they may participate as fully as possible in their local communities. Individuals in categories 1 and 2 are automatically enrolled into the waiver. To learn more on the waiting list categories, please click here .

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 58,000 Floridians with severe autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).