Table of Contents
The South Carolina Community Supports Waiver assists individuals with Intellectual Disabilities or a Related Disability (ID/RD), regardless of age, who have income and assets that meet Medicaid eligibility criteria. The objective of this statewide waiver is to provide South Carolinians with an opportunity to self-direct care in the home, with emphasis on keeping the participant integrated in the community. A member of the eligible participant’s family may provide care. However, a spouse or legal guardian of an adult cannot be paid for providing personal care services or those that are similar in nature.
While this waiver offers similar services to other Medicaid waivers available in South Carolina, such as the Community Choices Waiver, the distinction is that participants in the Community Supports Waiver must demonstrate a need for an ICF/ID level of care (Intermediate Care Facility for individuals with Intellectual Disability).
The Community Supports Waiver evaluates candidates both on their functional needs and their financial situation. This waiver serves children and adults, as well as the elderly. There is no maximum age.
Functional Need Requirements
The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) must determine that the individual meets the criteria for having an intellectual disability or related disability, such as epilepsy, and requires a level of care present in an Intermediate Care Facility for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID).
For non-married applicants, aged 65 and older, they cannot have income exceeding 300% of the Supplemental Security Income limit, also known as the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). As of 2017, this means an applicant’s gross monthly income cannot exceed $2,205. Married applicants should not count their spouse’s income, if they are not also applying for their Medicaid benefits.
The applicant’s countable resources cannot be greater than $2,000. Married applicants’ spouses may hold additional cash, investments, savings, or retirement accounts valued at up to $66,480, plus $2,000 for the applicant.
The state does not count the value of a home where the applicant or his/her spouse lives, if it is valued under $560,000. Jewelry, clothing, furniture, and irrevocable funeral trusts are some of the items that are not counted when calculating the total assets. For further information about spending down, asset exemptions, and planning for long term care benefits, families should consult a Medicaid planning attorney or related professional.
To apply for the Community Supports Waiver, contact the local county office of South Carolina Disabilities and Special Needs Board or visit their website. They can also be reached by calling (800) 289-7012. A service coordination provider assists each participant with his/her application.
According to press reports, waiting lists have been persistent in South Carolina’s waiver programs, including the Community Supports Waiver program. It is likely that new, at-home applicants need to wait for a slot to open. If placed on a waiting list, applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis. The only exception is if a Medicaid enrollee is living in a nursing home. In these cases, they are likely to be prioritized.