What Programs Are Available To Assist People With Disabilities in South Carolina?

Is there a Medicaid waiver program in South Carolina? South Carolina has several waivers including:

  • Medically Complex Children;
  • Community Supports;
  • Mechanical Ventilator Dependent;
  • Head and Spinal Cord Injury;
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder;
  • MR and Related Disabilities;
  • Community Choices

What state department operates the Medicaid waiver program in South Carolina? The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) operates the Medicaid Waiver program for persons with developmental disabilities.

What programs assist people who have developmental disabilities in South Carolina? There are several Medicaid waiver programs in South Carolina that assist persons with disabilities. The MR/DD waiver is for persons with IDD of any age. For more information about this program, call (803) 898-9600. The Pervasive DD waiver is for children ages 3-10. For more information on this program call (888) 376-4636. The TBI/SCI waiver is for persons with head and spinal cord injuries of any age. To learn more about this program, call (803) 898-9798.

What is the best number to call to get started? To learn more about programs that assist people who have an intellectual disability or autism, please call toll-free 1-800-289-7012. This toll-free line is staffed during normal business hours; however messages can be left at any time with calls returned in the next two business days. If the applicant meets screening criteria, he/she will be provided with a list of available service coordination or early intervention (SC/EI)providers.

Is there a website? http://www.ddsn.sc.gov

Who Qualifies For Assistance?

What is considered a developmental disability in South Carolina? A developmental disability is a severe chronic disability of which:
♦ is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
♦ is apparent before the person reaches age 22; ♦ results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major activities:
- self-care
- learning
- communication
- economic self-sufficiency
- self-direction
- independent living
- mobility

♦ requires the need for lifelong individually planned coordinated services.
♦ An individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting 3 or more of the criteria described above, if the individual, without services and supports, has a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.

Are there income limits to receive services? Yes. 100% Of Poverty Level.

How old do you have to be to start receiving services? There are no age requirements for the MR/DD waiver. The Pervasive DD for Children currently serves children ages 3-10.

Is There a Waiting List For Services?

How long is the waiting list? The waiting list vary by waiver. You can expect to wait about 4 years before getting on the MR/DD waiver.

How many people are on the waiting list? There are about 6,000 people waiting for waiver services in South Carolina.

How many people are currently receiving waiver services? The MR/DD for IDD waiver currently serves 6,138 people. The Pervasive DD for Children currently serves 365 children. The TVI/ SCI currently serves 703 people with head or spinal cord injuries. The Mechanical Ventilator waiver currently serves 45 people. The HIV/AIDS waiver currently serves 1,127 people.

What assistance is available while you wait? There may be emergency serves available, but it's on a case by case basis.

Is there priority preference for people who are in crisis? Yes, priority placement is given to people with the most need.

What Services Are Offered & What Are The Service Limitations?

What services does the Medicaid waiver program offer? Services vary by program. The MR/DD waiver offers: environmental modification, therapies, and personal care. The Pervasive DD for Children waiver offers: case management and early intensive behavioral intervention. The Mechanical Ventilator waiver offers: environmental modifications, attendant care, and personal care. The HIV/AIDs waiver offers: attendant care services, home delivered meals, environmental modifications, and personal care. The TBI/SCI waiver offers service coordination, specialized medical equipment and supplies, nursing, and personal care.

Does South Carolina offer community group homes? Yes, South Carolina offers community group home options. Community Training Homes (CTH) offer people the opportunity to live in a homelike environment under the supervision of qualified and trained staff. Community Intermediate Care Facilities/Intellectual Disability (ICF/ID) Residences offer a community living option to those people who need maximum support for their high levels of need. Twenty-four-hour care, supervision, training, recreation and other activities are provided in this structured environment.

Does South Carolina offer supported living? Services that assist People with disabilities who want to live in their own home are Supervised Living Programs. Supervised Living Programs provide adults with needed support in order for them to live in apartments, duplexes or other (single family) housing. Supervision and support services are tailored to the person’s needs.

Are there still state owned institutions? South Carolina DDSN also provides services to people with more complex, severe disabilities in Regional Centers. Regional Centers are located in Columbia, Florence, Clinton, Summerville (near Charleston), and Hartsville. DDSN directly oversees the operations of these facilities and serves 750 people.

How Do You Select A Provider?

Do providers work for the state? No. DDSN provides services to most people who are eligible in their home communities through contracts with local service-provider agencies. These agencies include local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) Boards and other qualified service providers. Every county in South Carolina is served. Each local DSN Board serves as the initial entry point for DDSN services.

About how many providers are there in the state of South Carolina? There are about 105 Medicaid waiver providers who are DDSN approved to provide services to DDSN consumers.

Do you have a choice in providers? Yes, you are encouraged to select your own providers.

How Do You Become A Provider?

To learn more about becoming becoming a SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) service provider, call (803) 737-4917. Questions can be e-mailed to Mr. Chris Manos at CManos@mmo.sc.gov. If you have other questions about becoming a service provider, please contact Director, Intellectual Disability Division, SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, P.O. Box 4706, Columbia, SC 29240. Apply online.

Additional Information

High Risk Infants (birth to 3 years old) Children under 36 months of age whose genetic, medical or environmental history indicate that they are at a substantially greater risk than the general population for developmental disability are eligible for some services from DDSN. Services include: service coordination; special instruction; stipends to reduce the risk of out of home placement; respite services

At-Risk Toddlers (3 to 6 Years Old) Children age 3 to 6 years old who continue to be at a substantial risk for developmental disabilities may be eligible for DDSN services.

SC Providers

South Carolina Providers


Easter Seals Society of SC (803) 256-0735
Serving South Carolina
Our highly-skilled and dedicated staff provide individualized quality services to children with developmental delays.