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Tennesseans 16+: Now Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Children's Special Services

Need health insurance?

There’s a new Special Enrollment Period for the COVID-19 public health emergency. You can enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance plans February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021.

The Katie Beckett Program

The Katie Beckett Program is for Tennessee residents, under the age of 18, with disabilities and/or complex medical needs who would not usually qualify for TennCare. This program helps to fill gaps between the child’s needs and what private insurance will cover.

For Frequently Asked Questions about this program and to learn how to apply for coverage, 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 disease 2019, also known as COVID-19.  COVID-19 information changes quickly, so be sure to check the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee COVID-19 Information Hub (, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites regularly for the latest news.

Tennessee has prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations for the following groups:

To learn more about Tennessee’s vaccine phases and state COVID-19 testing information, visit the Tennessee COVID-19 Information Hub (

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

Important Ways to Slow the Spread

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

If You are at Risk of Getting Very Sick

What Symptoms to Watch For

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are

  • Fever     
  • Cough
  • Headaches       
  • Fatigue       
  • Muscle or body aches       
  • Loss of taste or smell      
  • Sore throat        
  • Nausea       
  • Diarrhea

Other symptoms are signs of serious illness. If someone has trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, get medical care immediately.

What to Do If You're Sick       

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Isolate yourself from other members of your family to prevent spread to them and the people that they may have contact with, like grandparents.       
  • Even if you don’t feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others.
  • Get care immediately if you are having emergency warning signs, like trouble breathing, pain or pressure in chest.

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. The family’s adjusted gross income must be at or below the 225% federal poverty level.

Tennessee Department of Health Children's Special Services Program Financial Eligibility Requirements Effective January 13, 2021.

Family Size

Annual Income Poverty Level





































Each additional
person add




Guidelines based on the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines, Federal Register, 2021, Vol. 86, No. 19, February 1, 2021, pp. 7732-7734.

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


Reports and Publications

·         Family Centered Care

·         America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2020

·         Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities

·         Oral Health for Children with Special Health Care Needs

·         Promoting Health for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

·         Promoting Healthy Weight and Nutrition

·         Health and Safety Activity Book for Children

·         Bright Futures Resources and Toolkit

·         Promoting Physical Activity

·         National Center for Health Statistics

·         Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health

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: