Children's Special Services

The Children's Special Services (CSS) Program may provide coverage for comprehensive medical care and other non-medical resources for children with physical disabilities from birth to 21 years of age. Diagnostic and financial eligibility criteria must be met to participate in the program.

The CSS program is coordinated through the local health department in all 95 Tennessee counties and provides resources for medical and non-medical services. For more information about eligibility, transition planning and other resources, please click on the links below.

Diagnostic Eligibility

A child/youth is eligible for the program if s/he is under the age of 21, and has been diagnosed with a physical disability which requires medical, surgical, dental or rehabilitation treatment.

Services Available:

Diagnostic Evaluation Medical and Surgical Treatment
Hospitalization Care Coordination
Rehabilitation Services Physical and Occupational Therapy
Medications Braces and Artificial Limbs
Speech and Language Durable Medical Equipment
Hearing Aids/Supplies Wheelchairs and Walkers
Special Formula/Food  


The CSS Program has an approved diagnostic list of over 300 eligible diagnoses. This list is not all inclusive. The most common diagnoses are:


Asthma Diabetes
Cardiac Related Hearing Loss
Cerebral Palsy Obesity (Greater than 95th percentile)
Congenital Hydrocephalus Seizure Disorders
Cystic Fibrosis Sickle Cell Anemia

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Financial Eligibility

Financial eligibility is based on family size and income level. A family's income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Tennessee Department of Health Children's Special Services Program Financial Eligibility Requirements Effective January 25, 2016

Family Size  Annual Income Poverty Level 
  100% 200%
1 11,880 23,760
2 16,020 32,040
3 20,160 40,320
4 24,300 48,600
5 28,440 56,880
6 32,580 65,160
7 36,730 73,460
8 40,890 81,780
For each additional person add: 4,160 8,320

Guidelines based on the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines, Federal
Register, 2016, Vol. 81, No. 15, January 25, 2016, pp. 4036-4037,

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Transition Planning

Transition planning is a process that is personal, individualized, deliberate, coordinated, developmentally appropriate, age appropriate and culturally competent.

Children, young adults, and their families experience many transitions, large and small, over the years. Transition for children and youth with special health care needs is a continuum of changes. Each transition is an opportunity to help the child, young adult, and family gain the skills to optimize success and manage future transitions. As young adults reach adulthood, they need information to help make their transitions smooth and effective.

Transition planning assures that your child receives services necessary to make appropriate transition to:

  • Adult health care
  • Work
  • Independence

Your child’s Transition Plan would include services necessary to assure transition to all aspects of adult life which include:

  • Medical
  • Independent living
  • Financial
  • Legal (conservatorship/guardianship)
  • Educational / Vocational
  • Employment
  • Social/Recreation
  • Family resources
  • Additional resources

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Additional Resources


Asthma Management Toolkit

Medical Home Toolkit

Disability Resources

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Tennessee Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics

State of Tennessee Department of Education Special Services

State of Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Family Voices

Resource Directory by County

County Resource Directory


Reports and Publications

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Vendor Agreement

Children’s Special Services authorizes health care providers and durable medical equipment vendors/suppliers to provide services to CSS clients.

Authorization to Vendors and CSS Letters of Agreement are effective for a three-year period.

The vendor agreement packet includes:

  • Letter of Agreement
  • Authorization to Vendor Agreement Form
  • W-9 Form
  • Supplier Direct Deposit Authorization Form

Please click on the link below to access the vendor agreement packet:

  1.  Vendor Instructional Letter (New)
  2.  Vendor Instructional Letter (Renewal)
  3. Letter of Agreement
  4. Authorization to Vendor Agreement Form
  5. W-9 Form
  6. Supplier Direct Deposit Authorization Form

If there is a change of personal/company information, provider/facility representative must complete the Change of Personal/Company Information Form and submit it to the CSS Central Office.

Please click on the link below to access this form:

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