Frail Elder Waiver: information for applicants and participants

The Frail Elder Waiver (FEW) provides eligible older adults access to needed community services and supports.

Table of Contents

I. About the Program

The Frail Elder Waiver (FEW) is a Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver designed to make supports available to eligible frail elders aged 60 and older who meet the level of care for a nursing facility but prefer to remain in the community.

An eligible person may enroll in FEW at any time.

II. Eligibility Criteria for the Frail Elder Waiver

MassHealth applicants or members may apply for FEW. An individual may not participate in more than one waiver at a time.

Participants in FEW may reside in their own home or apartment or in the home or apartment of a family member or caregiver. Participants in FEW may also reside in Congregate Housing. Participants in FEW cannot reside in residential settings such as Assisted Living Residences and Rest Homes or in institutional settings such as nursing facilities, except for brief periods when receiving respite services.

To qualify for FEW, an individual must

  • Either be
    • 60-64 years of age and have a disability, or
    • 65 years of age or older
  • Meet clinical requirements
  • Need FEW services
  • Be able to be safely served in the community within the terms of FEW, and
  • Meet the financial requirements to qualify for MassHealth Standard in the community. Special financial rules exist for waiver applicants and participants.

III. Services Offered to Frail Elder Waiver Participants

All FEW participants work with a Case Manager to develop their Comprehensive Service Plan, which includes the participant’s goals and the waiver services and supports the participant needs in the community.

FEW services include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia Coaching
  • Chore
  • Companion
  • Complex Care Training and Oversight (formerly Skilled Nursing)
  • Enhanced Technology/Cellular Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
  • Environmental Accessibility Adaptation
  • Evidence Based Education Programs
  • Goal Engagement Program
  • Grocery Shopping and Delivery
  • Home Based Wandering Response Systems
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Home Delivery of Pre-packaged Medication
  • Home Health Aide
  • Home Safety/Independence Evaluations (formerly Occupational Therapy)
  • Homemaker
  • Laundry
  • Medication Dispensing System
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Peer Support
  • Personal Care
  • Respite
  • Supportive Day Program
  • Supportive Home Care Aide
  • Transitional Assistance
  • Transportation

IV. Frail Elder Waiver and Senior Care Options (SCO)

Frail Elder Waiver participants age 65 and older are eligible to enroll in a Senior Care Options (SCO) plan. FEW participants who are enrolled in SCO have access to all waiver services and all services offered by the SCO plan in which they are enrolled. Enrollment in SCO is voluntary. If a FEW participant disenrolls from their SCO plan, they will continue to have access to FEW services.


V. Enrolling in FEW

To qualify for the Frail Elder Waiver (FEW), you must meet clinical and financial eligibility requirements.

You may request to enroll in FEW at any time. To learn more about the FEW and to enroll, please contact your local Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) to request a clinical eligibility assessment.

You may contact MassOptions call center and ask for a referral to an options counselor located at your local ASAP agency by 

  • Calling 800-243-4636  
  • Visiting to fill out an online referral form

Financial eligibility for FEW is determined directly by MassHealth. If you need assistance applying for MassHealth, you may contact your local ASAP or contact MassHealth Customer Service. 

Contact   for Frail Elder Waiver: information for applicants and participants


Self-service available 24 hrs/day in English and Spanish. Other services available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Interpreter services are available.

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.