Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES Program

September 7th, 2018 / Author: Anna Walton

Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES Program

Many individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) are seeking ways to achieve independence. In Tennessee, these individuals can receive services to support this goal through TennCare’s Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES program. This program provides home and community-based services (HCBS) for people who don’t want to live at an institution and who choose to live independently of their families. This program also supports families who live with and care for a family member with I/DD.

In order to help individuals with I/DD and their families understand this new program and navigate the maze, our new fact sheet provides an overview and breakdown of the eligibility criteria for the program. Additionally, there is information about the three different groups within ECF CHOICES along with the different services available.

Unfortunately, because of limited funding and limited slots, not everyone who is eligible and would benefit from this program is able to enroll right away. TennCare has created a number of categories, including 8 priority groups to facilitate enrollment. More information about these priority groups is included in our fact sheet. Also, there are additional criteria for “reserve capacity” slots – to serve those with more immediate needs.  However, the current system is still insufficient to meet current needs, and some individuals with I/DD who do make it into one of the coveted slots need additional help to navigate the system.

Need help or more information on ECF CHOICES? Click Here

Our team is working hard, in partnership with the Tennessee Disability Coalition, to empower consumers to advocate for themselves and make sure this program works to meet the needs of the consumers. If you or a loved one is currently enrolled in ECF CHOICES and would like to learn more about advocacy opportunities, please call the TJC. Also, if you would like to be connected to another family member to talk about this program, we can refer you to Family Voices of Tennessee.

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