Applying for and Maintaining Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid for or as a person with a disability

To get onto a waiver, you must first apply for and be approved for Medicaid.
Waiver services are above and beyond what you can get with regular Medicaid.
Medicaid pays for the extra waiver services.

You will not be approved for Long-Term Care (LTC) Medicaid until you have gone through most of the enrollment process.

To start the process toward Long-Term Care (LTC) Medicaid, you need to fill out two Medicaid applications

  1. Health First Colorado (Medicaid) Application

  2. Disability (Medicaid) Application

When a person with a disability wants to enroll in an LTC Medicaid waiver, an extra Medicaid application might be needed if they are not getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security benefits that come with a disability determination.

Both applications can be found here:

When you click on the link above, you will see two different Medicaid applications. Choose which Medicaid application fits your needs.

  • The first one listed is for people who are only applying for Medicaid.

  • The second is for people who wish to apply for Medicaid AND another assistance program, such as food assistance.

There is only one option for the Disability application.

Fill out as much of the application(s) as possible before getting support; that way, you can focus on the parts you have questions about.


You can apply for Medicaid at any age. If you are under the age of 18 (or helping someone under 18 apply), Health First Colorado Medicaid will look at the income and resources/assets of all household members.

Application Support

We suggest you apply for LTC Medicaid in one of the following ways (we do NOT recommend applying for LTC Medicaid on Colorado PEAK):

  • With Colorado Access- AMES (Access Medical Enrollment Services), an Eligibility Application Partner
  • With a Certified Application Assistance Site (CAAS)
    Search for a CAAS in your area
  • With your local Department of Human Services (DHS) by phone or in person
    Find the one in your county
    • They can answer some questions about the Medicaid application, but only offer partial application support. You can get more support if you go into your local DHS office. Wait times vary. If you need support in a language other than English or Spanish, it is recommended you go into the county office to ask for application support.
  • By calling the Member Contact Center for Colorado Medicaid at
Support icon with yellow background

When you apply:

  • Tell the person you speak with that you want to apply for LTC Medicaid, so that someone in your household (or whomever you are helping to apply) can get waiver supports. (This is only applicable if you want waiver supports.)
  • Tell them you are working with Developmental Pathways, if you’re working toward enrolling on a waiver.
  • Tell them that the person you are helping to apply (or if you are applying for yourself) has a disability.
Arrow icon point to the right

Another way to get Medicaid is to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). People who are approved for SSI automatically get enrolled in Medicaid.

Things to keep in mind if applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

  • If applying for a child, they will look at the household’s income and assets.
  • If applying for an adult, they will only look at the adult’s income and assets.
  • An option for a faster path to waiver services is to complete both a Medicaid and Medicaid Disability application and then apply for SSI (if you wish to apply for Social Security benefits).

See our Waiver Services page for more information on specific waivers offered through Developmental Pathways, or visit the Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) website for information on waivers available in the state of Colorado at


Yes, owning one home and using it as your primary residence is acceptable to Medicaid and does not count as an asset/resource. However, owning a home and using it for income purposes counts as an asset/resource.

Yes. Medicaid is always the payer of last resort.

Check out the Health Insurance Buy-In (HIBI) Program for more information about assistance with private health insurance premiums. You can also find more information about HIBI in the LTC Medicaid and SSA Guide.

Yes, AMES (Access Medical Enrollment Services) can review the applications and let you know what pieces are missing, if any. They can also process the completed applications for you.

You can submit the application to AMES (Access Medical Enrollment Services) or your county DHS (Department of Human Services) office where you live. 

If you want to enroll in an LTC Medicaid waiver and you don’t already have Medicaid, then you must apply for Medicaid. Medicaid pays for the waiver services and supports you will receive through the waiver.

You should not have to complete a new Medicaid application if you already have Foster Care or Adoption Medicaid. Your Medicaid is likely housed in a separate system called the Trails System. Trails is the child welfare database used in Colorado. Only select people in each county have access to the database to confirm a person’s coverage. Call your assigned child welfare contact at Medicaid to let them know you are working to enroll (or helping someone) onto an LTC Medicaid waiver.

Other Helpful Resources

Maintaining Medicaid

See our Maintaining Long-Term Care Medicaid Guide