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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are scholarships needed?

Life Experiences’ scholarship program was established to provide direct financial assistance for families who demonstrate evidence of need. Our scholarships for adults with I/DD complement other providers’ offerings, helping these individuals access services. The cost for a daytime program of 30 hours/week runs about $1,000-$2,000 per month.

Life Experiences’ Scholarships provide an additional financial resource so that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) can engage in community-based programming which they choose.

Who is eligible for Life Experiences’ scholarships?

Adults with intellectual and/or developmental disability who are at least 18 years of age at the time services will begin and residents of Wake and nearby counties. Families must provide documentation of financial need.

What is the Innovations Waiver?

The Innovations Waiver is a home- and community-based Medicaid program. It provides services and supports for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, like autism, who are at risk of needing institutional care. The goal of the Waiver is to promote choice, control, and community integration as an alternative to institutionalization.

It is called a Waiver because some rules that apply to recipients of the standard Medicaid program are waived for recipients of the waiver program.

Unfortunately, there are not enough Waiver “slots” to provide services to everyone in North Carolina who qualifies. The wait list (also called the Registry of Unmet Needs) in some areas of the State, including Wake County, is ten years long or longer. Generally, waivers are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, so the sooner an individual gets on the wait list, the sooner the individual receives a waiver.

The North Carolina waitlist dashboard provides current waitlist counts by county.

What do adults with I/DD do without access to service providers?

Caregiving-families of adults with I/DD often struggle to maintain their standard of living. Many reside at home with caregiving-parents, with some access to local recreation and leisure programs and limited access to service providers. LE scholarships expand access to service providers.

How are scholarships distributed?

Life Experiences’ Scholarship Committee receives and considers applications, and decides on award recommendations. The LE Board of Directors votes on committee recommendations. Applicants are required to visit and explore service options in advance of any award recommendation. Awarded scholarships are paid directly to service providers to avoid impacting any government benefits the scholarship recipient receives.

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