Who qualifies for Employment and Community First CHOICES?

Apply for ECF CHOICES

To qualify for Employment and Community First CHOICES, a person must:

  • Provide proof that they have an intellectual disability or other developmental disability.
    • An intellectual disability must start before the age of 18.
    • A developmental disability must start before the age of 22.

As long as the person provides proof of an intellectual or developmental disability, we say they are “at risk” of nursing home placement.

If the person would actually qualify for the level of care provided in a nursing home (but wants services in the community instead), we say they meet “nursing home level of care.” This means they may qualify to get more services.

(This doesn’t mean the person has to receive care in a nursing home. This program provides services at home and in the community. They just need to qualify for nursing home care.)

  • Qualify financially to get TennCare. This means:
  • For 2022, the person’s income can’t be more than the following amount:
    • $2,523 per month if the person is approved with nursing facility level of care;
    • $1,699 per month if the person is not approved with nursing facility level of care, but is approved with at risk level of care; or
    • $2,832 per month if the person is working and has less than $841 in unearned income.
    • These amounts are subject to change each calendar year. If the person’s income is over the limit, they may be able to set up a Qualifying Income Trust. For children under age 18, the parent’s income and resources count too, unless the child is age 17 or older and qualifies for nursing home level of care, or the child is enrolling in or transitioning from Intensive Behavioral Family Supports (sometimes called “Group 7”).
  • The total value of things you own can't be more than $2,000 (The home where you live doesn't count); AND
  • You can't have given away or sold anything for less than what it's worth in the last five (5) years.
  • People in one of the groups on the green page may qualify to enroll in the program and get services now. These are people who need services right away because they have the most urgent needs.
  • People in one of the groups on the pink page may qualify to enroll in the program and get services when there is a slot. These slots are VERY limited right now.

If you are under 18 and do not qualify for Medicaid, you may qualify for Katie Beckett