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Intellectual Disability and Related Disabilities

Definition and Eligibility Criteria for Intellectual Disability and Related Disabilities

All three of the conditions listed below must be met. (The presence of one condition alone before 22 years of age is not sufficient to make a diagnosis of intellectual disability)

  • significantly below-average intellectual functioning (a valid IQ of approximately 70 or below as determined by IQ tests for children and adults and a clinical judgment for infants)
  • concurrent deficits in adaptive functioning (how effectively an individual copes with common life demands for his or her age and cultural group) in at least two areas: communication, self care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction (e.g., ability to make decisions, seek assistance), functional academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety. Adaptive functioning refers to how well an individual copes with common life demands
  • onset of these conditions before 22 years of age

It is the consistency with which these deficits are present across all criteria that renders the diagnosis of intellectual disability either appropriate or inappropriate.

Related Disabilities

A related disability is a severe, chronic condition found to be closely related to intellectual disability or to require treatment similar to that required for persons with intellectual disability. All four of the following conditions must be met:

  • The disability is attributable to cerebral palsy, epilepsy or any condition, other than mental illness, found to be closely related to intellectual disability because this condition results in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of persons with intellectual disability and requires similar treatment or services.
  • The disability is likely to continue indefinitely.
  • The disability results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction, and capacity for independent living.
  • The onset of the disability is before 22 years of age.

Diagnosed learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in the absence of other qualifying criteria, do not constitute eligibility as "related disabilities" for DDSN eligibility. Your Service Coordinator can provide information on agencies that may offer services for these disabilities.

Information Needed To Determine Eligibility

Current and previous psychological information (within one year, if age 6 or under) adaptive measures, social information, medical reports and school records are necessary to determine eligibility.

Types Of Services & Supports Available

DDSN contracts with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) Boards and other providers to bring an array of services to your community. Services are provided based on the needs of the person, the appropriateness of the service to meet the need, and the availability of funding.

Services may be limited by the availability of a service provider in your county.

Individual And Family Support Services For Children And Adults:

  • service coordination
  • early intervention services
  • genetic evaluation, treatment and counseling services
  • individualized summer services and camps
  • adult companion services
  • adult dental services
  • adult vision services
  • audiology services
  • behavioral support services
  • environmental modifications
  • personal care services
  • nursing services
  • occupational therapy services
  • physical therapy services
  • prescribed drugs
  • private vehicle modifications
  • psychological services
  • respite care
  • specialized medical equipment, supplies and assistive technology
  • speech-language pathology
  • individual rehabilitation support services

Day Services For Adults:

  • supported employment services
  • pre-vocational, habilitation or rehabilitation support services
  • mobile work crews or enclaves

Residential Services

  • a variety of residential settings offer varying levels of supervision and supports to meet the needs of each individual

Services and Supports may be funded through the Intellectual Disability/Related Disabilities (ID/RD) Waiver, the Medicaid State Plan, and/or Individual and Family Support Funding.

Medicaid Waiver Services

Prior to 1991, the Federal Medicaid program paid for services to DDSN people with intellectual disability and related disabilities, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and related disabilities only if that person lived in an institution. The approval of Federal Medicaid Waiver programs allowed states to provide services to consumers in their homes and in their communities.

People eligible for DDSN services may also be eligible for home and community-based Waiver services. For more information, DDSN consumers and families should contact their local Service Coordinator, Early Interventionist, or the DDSN Office of Adult Supports at our Columbia office at (803) 898-9671.

ID/RD Waiver Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for Intellectual Disability/Related Disabilities (ID/RD) Waiver services, a person must:

  • have a diagnosis of intellectual disability or related disability.
  • be given the option of receiving services in his/her home and community or in an Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/ID)
  • require the degree of care that would be provided in the ICF/ID (meet ICF/ID level of care)
  • have needs that can be met by the provision of services funded by the waiver
  • Federal Law requires that the cost of Medicaid Waiver and State Plan services must be less expensive than or equal to the cost of institutional care

Reasons ID/RD Waiver Will Be Terminated

ID/RD Waiver services will be terminated when a person:

  • voluntarily withdraws or no longer wishes to receive services funded by the Waiver
  • no longer meets ICF/ID level of care
  • is no longer eligible for Medicaid as determined by the SC Department of Health and Human Services
  • is admitted to an ICF/ID
  • received no Waiver services for 30 days
    (Note: In certain circumstances, a person's waiver slot can be held for 90 days.)
  • moves out of state