You Should Know

SC ABLE Accounts Now Available for SC Citizens with Disabilities!

The South Carolina Achieving a Better Life Experience (SC ABLE) Savings Program has finally been implemented by our State Treasurer!

SC ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged investment accounts (much like the popular 529 Education accounts) that allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest money – up to $14,000 per year – without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or SSDI.

Earnings in an SC ABLE Account are not subject to federal or SC state income tax, so long as you spend them on “Qualified Disability Expenses.”  And deposits into these accounts by the individuals as well as their families and friends are also tax deductible.

More details are available at the SC Able website. Their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page provides a lot  more information about the program.

Please pass this information along to any of your friends or family members who might find it useful.

Is there a Medicaid waiver program in South Carolina?

Yes, 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.

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, 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?

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

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.

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 with living option to those people who need maximum support for their high level of need. Twenty-four-hour care, supervision, training, recreation and other activities are provided in this structured environment.

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.

Have You Considered Your Developmentally Disabled Son’s or Daughter’s Future without You?

This information is to help you plan for the future. It will help you describe the needs of your developmentally disabled adult child. The plan is to help a caregiver to better understand your son or daughter, if you are no longer able to continue in the care giving role. It is necessary to describe your son or daughter’s history, current status and your hopes for his / her future. To the maximum extent possible, have your child involved in making these decisions and providing information, so it truly represents your child.

This is not a legal document, but is designed to provide guidance to future caregivers in decision making and interaction with your child – so share what you have learned! You can provide insight and knowledge of how to best support and make their future transition to life without your daily involvement easier for them and for others who interact with them.

Be specific. You can always make changes. You have a lifelong perspective of your child’s capabilities and needs. Share it!

If something should happen to you tomorrow, where will your developmentally disabled son or daughter live?
Would they prefer living with family members, with friends, in a home with other disabled adults or in their own private residence?
How independently can they truly live?
(Think about their daily living needs and self­care capabilities.)

Does your son / daughter currently have a job or participate in an employment program?
What type of work would your child be good at or enjoy?
How much guidance and ongoing assistance do they need?
Consider their interests, limitation, goals ...

Will your son or daughter need help with any of these medical issues:
Getting a prescription filled.
Scheduling and transportation to Doctors Appointments
Emergency Medical attention for a chronic or life­threatening condition.
Who to contact in case of an emergency?

What consistent approach has worked best when you are not with them?
What has and has not worked?
How does your son or daughter handle change?
How do they deal with stressful situations?

What activities make life more meaningful for them?
What social groups or events do they take part in regularly?

Is there a special church, synagogue or person your child prefers for fellowship?
Do they enjoy any particular TV or radio program, magazine, music or other media
that supports their faith or beliefs?

Who will care for, fight for their rights, and be a friend in support of your child?
What social service agency, advocacy group or day activities program that provides
services to your son or daughter or should be contacted, if you are no longer able to care for them?

Have you prepared a special needs trust to provide for your son’s or daughter’s financial needs, without endangering their ongoing SSI or Medicaid benefits?
If so, who has a copy of it?
Have you designated anyone to manage your child daily living finances?

This information represents only small portion of what you need to think about and share in writing, to insure the best lifelong care for your loved one. Think of their daily life and needs, be sure to update and add to your son’s or daughter’s information sheet. Share this document with family, friends and others who you feel would be of assistance if you cannot for any reason care for your son or daughter.

OSPREY Village is developing plans to provide the opportunity for your child to continue their life in the community that is “their home”: a place to be with the friends and others in the local community, also close to PEP (Programs for Exceptional People) for consistent day services. If you would like more information about OSPREY Village, please contact:

Channing Heiss @ / 843-422-6099
OSPREY Village
PO Box 3155
Bluffton, SC 29910

Prepared by Sue Hall Board Member OSPREY Village, Inc. – May 2013