Early Intervention (birth to 3) - Part of the NC Infant-Toddler program, this is the agency to contact if you have a child with special needs under the age of 3. They can provide services like occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and more at little to no cost. You may also hear them referred to as the CDSA.

Pre-K Head Start Program: Pre-K/Head Start is a free preschool program administered through the public school system for children with disabilities. The preschool student will receive an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), and teaching from a certified public school teacher with support from teaching assistants. For Chapel Hill Carrboro Schools, click here. For Chatham County, click here.

Murdoch Center, Partners in Autism Treatment and Habilitation (PATH) Program - One of three state operated developmental centers. Provides services and support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), complex behavioral challenges and or medical conditions whose clinical treatment needs cannot be supported in the community or home. Murdoch operates four specialty programs including children and adolescents programs which are available for individuals residing in all regions of the state.   Admissions Office:  919-575-1990
Need to go through local Managed Care Organization, Alliance Health. Long wait list
In Butner, NC.

Medicaid Innovations Waiver - This is the State of North Carolina's Medicaid waiver for individuals with developmental delays like autism and/or intellectual impairment. The waiting list for services is very long, but it is important to get your child on it. Waiver services are administered by a local management entity/managed care organization (LME/MCO) which facilitate services and oversee a network of community-based service providers. Individuals who receive waiver funding work with their team to develop a Person Centered Plan of Care and request the services and supports they need.  As of 2021, the Orange and Chatham LME/MCO is Alliance Health (Cardinal Innovations was disengaged). Call Line for the Registry for Unmet Needs at Alliance Health:  800-510-9132

The North Carolina Innovations Waiver provides services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have a life in the community of their choice, which includes where they live, how they spend their day, have fun and build relationships.

Waivers provide access to Medicaid funding for eligible individuals for whom states may "waive" certain Medicaid requirements. NC Innovations allows funding to provide community-based services and supports that promote choice, control and community integration as an alternative to institutional care. To be eligible for Innovations services, you must:
  • Meet the requirements for Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) level of care
  • Live in an ICF-IID or be at risk of being placed in an ICF-IID
  • Be able to stay safe, healthy and well in the community while using NC Innovations Waiver services
  • Need and use NC Innovations Waiver services listed in your person centered plan at least once a month
  • Want to use NC Innovations Waiver services instead of living in an ICF-IID

Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP/C): This is a program for medically fragile children and it is not income based. It also provides home- and community-based services to children at risk for institutionalization in a nursing home. If a child qualifies for CAP/C, they receive NC Medicaid along with a nurse manager, incontinent supplies, nursing assistant, and more. 

       The first step would be to contact a CAP/C intake manager:
       Lena Robertson, Manager – CAP Intake
       Office 919.803.2960 | Cell 919.618.3337 | Fax 919.324.6708
       Community Alternative Program (CAPC)
       RHA Health Services, 4700 Homewood Court Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27609

B3 Waiver/Services: (b)(3) services are services in addition to the ones the state has chosen to provide for people with mental health disorders, intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. These services are available statewide, and they expand supports for individuals with complex needs. For example, a person can receive outpatient therapy, a service in our State Medicaid Plan, and also receive Individual Support, a (b)(3) service for individuals with mental health needs.  Another example is Community Transition, a (b)(3) service that provides funds to help individuals move out of licensed facilities and into the community.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Social Security SSI pays benefits based on financial need. When an adult with a disability turns 18, he/she (or their guardian) can apply for SSI and Medicaid in NC. As a parent and legal guardian, you can start the process before they turn 18--most people start this process 6 months in advance. NC SSI address is 3511 Shannon Rd., Durham, NC 27707. Call and made an appointment with an administrator to do an over the phone interview. 1-888-759-3908

Here is one mom's SSI journey with her adult son:
"My son, who has a disability, turned 18 in January 2020. When an adult with a disability turns 18, he/she (or their guardian) can apply for SSI and Medicaid in NC. As a mother and legal guardian, you can start the process before they turn 18--most people start this process 6 months in advance. NC SSI address is 3511 Shannon Rd., Durham, NC 27707. Call and made an appointment with an administrator to do an over the phone interview: 1-888-759-3908."

"There were a lot of typical questions about our address, my son’s diagnosis, what age he was diagnosed and by whom, etc., but also questions about releasing medical information.  Because I had already gone through legal guardianship, I got my paperwork and Case # in the mail within a month.  I kept a file and scanned any communication with SSI. Letterhead is from Disability Determination Services through Raleigh. After filling out more information, signing medical release forms, and listing the medications he is on, etc., the next step was meeting with a social worker, who tested him with simple questions or visual models to evaluate my son.  This took about an hour in the county we live in."

"All of these Social Security administrators and social workers are just doing their job to make sure my son, is who he is, and really does have a disability. It was a little emotionally draining, but he was recently medically approved for Medicaid. In the notification letter, I was told that my son (or myself as legal guardian) should call the assigned person at SSI for another interview for 'benefits' with more questions. I have been playing phone tag with this person for a month."

"My son was also approved for monthly funding benefits to help pay for food and clothing, etc. In fact, my son will receive 7 months of back payments from the time I called and got through (June).   He will continue to receive monthly checks (or direct deposit payments, which can be set up) into his own personal account.  According to the Social Security services administrator, the money is to be spent and not saved. He also suggested that in the future, I could call back and request more benefits to help with “rent”, if that is what we want to pursue."

"In April, I received a letter saying I needed to call SSI to answer more questions.  The administrator asked about other funds my son had in his name.  If my son comes into inherited funds or receives wages, we must report it, so SSA can re-evaluate the case. "

All content © 2022 by Chapel Hill Autism Resources and Tools (C.H.A.R.T.)

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