CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Health and Human Resources has been directed by Gov. Jim Justice to conduct a formal study on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Waiver program.

Justice ordered the review to determine options for eliminating the waiting list for the program.

The IDD waiver program gives people the choice of receiving support and services at home rather than in an institutional setting. Justice said in a Friday news release that too many people have been waiting for the program for too long.

“Some of West Virginia’s most vulnerable men, women, and children have been on the waitlist for more than four years,” Justice said. “We absolutely must find a way to eliminate the waitlist so that these West Virginians can get the help and support they deserve.”

Justice said eliminating the waitlist would allow 1,060 more West Virginians to receive critical services through the program. It would also save the state money. Friday’s news release said services provided by the program are 46 percent lower than the cost of services provided by an intermediate care facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Justice said he wants the DHHR to finished the study by Jan. 15.