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Improved Access for Floridians with Disabilities

  • The CDC reports nationally 1 in 4 U.S. adults have some type of functional disability. In Florida,  the rate is even higher at 28%

  • The Florida IBudget waiver pays for HCBS for individuals with developmental and intellectual  disabilities (IDD). However, there is a waitlist of 22,734 eligible individuals, nearly the same number as the people currently being served.

  • The wait time on the waitlist is at minimum 7 years and often a decade or longer.

  • Florida iBudget Waiver's funding level has decreased annually since 2007 and is currently ranked  49th out of 50 states for per capita spending on services for people with disabilities.

What Can Florida Do?

Florida Voices for Health is working with our partners statewide to make these policy recommendations a reality in Florida:

Eliminate the Waitlist for Home and Community Based Services for Floridians with Disabilities

In the state’s FY 2022-23 budget, the estimated cost per person on the waitlist is $53,125. There is currently a waitlist of over 22,000 eligible individuals. Florida’s current waitlist of over 22,000 could be eliminated with approximately $1.2 billion in funding. Since Medicaid is a federal matching program, Florida would only be responsible for 40% of the cost, or $480 million. In 2022, Florida had a budget surplus of $11.1 billion.

Create an Accurate Budget for Disabilities Services Based on Actual Need

Currently, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities do not participate in the state’s estimating conference where budgets are decided. For years this has been a major contributor to APD’s underfunding and limited services for Floridians with disabilities. Allowing APD to participate in the estimating conference would allow them to negotiate for a budget closer to their level of need based on the number of people they serve. 

2022 Florida Disabilities Report

Florida has failed to properly invest in its large population of citizens with a disability. Annual funding for Florida’s Medicaid waiver program has decreased since 2007 despite having a waitlist of more than 20,000 Floridians.


With this in mind, last year Florida Voices for Health hosted a series of roundtable discussions featuring Floridians with disabilities, their families and caregivers to learn more about the barriers preventing disabled Floridians from achieving their full potential of health and life. 



The report identified several significant barriers faced by Floridians with any disability:

  • Insufficient access to Medicaid, highlighted by the massive waitlist for disability services

  • Access to oral health care

  • Difficulty locating doctors and other providers

  • Administrative barriers (ex: frequent reauthorization requirements, withholding of necessary services and other program changes)

  • Exorbitant out-of-pocket costs required to buy and maintain durable medical equipment (ex: wheelchair or hearing aide)

Finally, the report finds that to address the gaps in our health care system, the public and decision makers first need to reframe how Floridians with disabilities are perceived.

The Stories

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Do You Have a Disability and Struggling to Access Care?

Share Your Story and Recieve a $25 gift card.

Florida Voices for Health is capturing the stories of Floridians to help leaders understand why we need to close the coverage gap. 


Participants must be:

  1. Enrolled in Medicaid or private coverage

  2. Unable to access services through iBudget or other program.

By telling us your story, you help speak for people who may be facing issues just like yours. You have the opportunity to help change the future for millions of Floridians.

How Does It Work?

  • Fill out the form below

  • Text us at 850.296.2241

  • Email us at

  • Find us on Facebook Messenger (@FLVoices4Health)

Submit your story using the form below. After you submit your story, a member of our staff may contact you to learn more about your situation and to ensure that Florida Voices for Health understands your story in detail.

Florida Voices for Health will match participants with opportunities to share their stories publicly. Opportunities may include: requests from the media, policymakers, and advocates; use in our online efforts; and use in our policy briefs.

We will always ask your permission before we release any contact information or highlight your story, and you can always opt out of any opportunity.

By submitting your story you agree to our consent and release guidelines.

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