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Office of Mental Health

Family Flex Fund Letter

Dear Parents and Caregivers of Children and Youth served by the Home and Community Based Services Waiver:

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) HCBS Waiver for Children and Adolescents with Serious Emotional Disturbance provides six waiver services plus the availability of flex funds to the waiver child and family. Flex funds, also called “flex fund dollars” or “consumer dollars”, are an approved small amount of money that OMH allows the ICC agency to use to help the waiver participant to meet identified goals and objectives.

Flex funds can be used either to meet emergency needs or to meet an on-going need that falls within the rules that define use of flex funds.  This could include temporarily assisting families with an emergent financial need that impacts the well-being of the waiver child and for which other resources are not identifiable.  It also could include using the funds to help make available opportunities for skill development or participation in pro-social activities that tie directly to a goal or objective. The ICC will assist you with developing a plan for how the family will manage without flex funds if the need is on-going.

Due to regulations, OMH has provided specific guidance on what flex funds cannot be used for, including: your family’s rent; to purchase a car; or for capital improvements to increase the value of home and property - unless they are needed to ensure the safety of your child (i.e. replacing broken windows or doors or repairing the roof).

Flex funds can be used for such things as: clothing; utilities on an emergency basis; medical, dental and optical care and supplies; Waiver service related activities (for example, supplies for Skill Building activities); bus passes or cab fare; and security deposits.

Please know that we are dedicated to helping you meet your child’s needs. We will do everything we can to help you be successful. If you have any questions regarding the above or for more information on flex funds, please feel free to call your ICC.




Waiver Provider

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Home and Community Based Waiver Program.