Press Releases


(May 17, 2022, Atlanta, Ga.) – The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has extended its call for public input for the New Options Waiver (NOW) to support the Department's effort to renew the waiver program. DCH is currently accepting public comment about changes that have been made to the NOW Waiver Services resulting from Appendix K.

Appendix K is a request that states can make during emergency situations to change how waiver services are provided. Georgia has used Appendix K during COVID-19 to make changes to the New Options Waiver, also known as the NOW Waiver. Appendix K was activated on March 1, 2020 and can remain in effect for up to six months following the end of a federal public health emergency.  Appendix K made changes to the NOW Waiver that increased flexibility and allowed new services to be offered. These changes include:

  • New tele-options for: Level 1 and 2 Behavioral Support Services, Adult Occupational Therapy, Adult Nutrition Services, Physical Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, Skilled Nursing Services, Support Coordination, Intensive Support Coordination, and Supported Employment.
  • Caregiver pay for eligible family members to provide Community Living Supports, Home and Out of Home Respite Services, and Community Access Supports.
  • Alternative settings option to allow some services to be provided in hotels, shelters, homes of extended family, or acute care settings

The Georgia Department of Community Health wants to hear from the public about their experience with these service delivery methods that resulted from Appendix K as they work to renew the NOW waiver program.  The changes that were made under Appendix K will go away when the federal public health emergency ends unless they are incorporated into the NOW waiver application updates that will be made this summer. This is a chance for people to provide thoughts about what is working well and what changes or improvements they would like to see included.

Click here to submit written comments.

About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities. For more information, visit at