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Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Children's Special Services

Tornado Related Assistance for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

In response to the devastating tornadoes on March 3rd, Governor Lee, as part of his Emergency Declaration, has waived the requirements for proof of residency as part of the Children’s Special Services Program (CSS) application process for eligible evacuees. Furthermore, the CSS program will suspend the income verification process for applicants in Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Gibson, Morgan, Putnam, Smith and Wilson Counties. This suspension will be in affect through May 2, 2020.

For more information on the Governor’s Executive Order 13, click here . For more information on other tornado recovery resources in Tennessee, click here.

Emergency Kit Checklist for Families with Children with Special Health Care Needs.

According to the CDC, every family should have an emergency kit in the event of a disaster or situation that may cause you to be unable to leave your home. This is especially true for families with children with special health care needs. An emergency kit should have everything that your child needs, including medicines, batteries, medical supplies, etc. Please follow this link to ensure that your family is prepared in case of a disaster, loss of electricity and any event that would make you unable to leave your house for a few days.

Coronavirus Information for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

The Tennessee Department of Health is committed to keeping you and your family informed on the latest news around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  COVID-19 information changes quickly, so be sure to check the Tennessee Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites regularly for the latest news.

To help protect you and your family from coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:

Take steps to protect yourself

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
  • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick, such as children and youth with special health care needs.

Take steps to protect others

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • After you sneeze or cough wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
    • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (like sharing a room or car) and before you enter a doctor’s office or hospital. If you can’t wear a facemask then cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
    • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask).
  • Clean and disinfect
    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

For more information on how to protect yourself and others, please visit the CDC website.

For information on COVID-19 and children and families with children and youth with special health care needs, see the links below:

The Children's Special Services (CSS) Program may provide coverage for comprehensive medical care and other non-medical resources for children with physical disabilities and special health care needs 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.

The CSS program has two components; medical services and care coordination.

The medical services component provides for reimbursement of medical services, i.e., physician/clinic visits, hospitalizations, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, durable medical equipment, and therapies for children who meet medical and financial eligibility requirements.

The care coordination component assists families of eligible children with coordinating primary and specialty care through the designated primary care physician and corresponding managed care organization networks.  Care coordinators assist the family in accessing many services (educational, medical, social, transportation, support and advocacy).

For more information about your child’s eligibility for CSS, please contact Tennessee Department of Health, Family Health and Wellness Division. The office is located in the Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, 8th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243.  You may also call the program at (615) 741-7353.

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 rehabilitative 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 Pharmacy Needs

The CSS Program has an approved diagnostic list of over 500 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

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 15, 2020.

Family Size

Annual Income Poverty Level





































Each additional
person add




Guidelines based on the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines, Federal Register, 2020, Vol. 85, No. 12, January 17, 2020, pp. 3060-3061,

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 and physical disabilities is a continuum of change. 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

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

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: