Community Mental Health Supports Waiver (CMHS)

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A waiver is an extra set of Medicaid benefits that you could qualify for in certain cases. These benefits can help you remain in your home and community. Waivers have extra program rules and some programs may have waitlists.

The Home and Community-Based Services Community Mental Health Supports Waiver (CMHS) provides assistance to people with a mental illness that require long-term supports and services in order to remain in a community setting.

  • CMHS services work with or add to the services that are available to you through the Colorado Medicaid State plan and other federal, state, and local public program.
  • CMHS works with the supports that families and communities provide.
  • If you receive services through the CMHS waiver, you are also eligible for all Colorado Medicaid covered services except nursing facility and long-term hospital care.

​See current documents open for public comment for the CMHS Waiver Amendment 

Eligibility Requirements

You must meet the following financial and program criteria to access services under this program. To use waiver benefits, you must also be willing to receive services in your home or community.

Level of Care

  • You must require long-term support services at a level comparable to services typically provided in a nursing facility.

Eligibility Group

  • A person experiencing a severe and persistent mental health need that requires assistance with one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADL);
    • ​Is 18 years of age or older with a severe and persistent mental health need;
    • Currently has or at any time during the past year leading up to assessment has a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); and
    • Has a disorder that is episodic, recurrent, or has persistent features, but may vary in terms of severity and disabling effects; and
    • Has resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major activities.
  • ​A severe and persistent mental health need does not include:
    • ​Intellectual or developmental disorders; or
    • Substance use disorder without a co-occurring diagnosis of a severe and persistent mental health need.


  • Your income must be less than $2,199.00 per month.
  • For a single person, your countable resources must be less than $2,000.
  • For a couple, the countable resources must be less than $3,000.

Benefits and Services

If you are enrolled in the CMHS waiver, you will receive regular Colorado Medicaid benefits. Additionally, you will also receive the following services specific to the CMHS waiver:

View Waiver Charts

Changes in Targeting Criteria for CMHS Waiver Fact Sheet - October 2015

How to Apply

If you are already enrolled in Medicaid, contact your local Single Entry Point (SEP) to start the waiver application process

If you are NOT yet enrolled in Medicaid, click here to apply now.

If you have more questions about this program please contact your local Single Entry Point Agency or the Medicaid Customer Contact Center.