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HFS 3865 Transition Facts

Moving from DSCC Home and Community Based Services to DHS Home and Community Based Services

In Illinois, children who receive home and community based services managed by the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) are served by the Department of Human Services when they reach the age of 21 or before. Although the transition from child to adult services creates many challenges for both the individuals served and their families, it can be successful with coordinated planning.

The medically fragile, technology dependent (MFTD) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver serves individuals up to the age of 21. As individuals move to adulthood, adult HCBS waivers are available as long as they have a medical need for the service. Adult service models typically offer mixes of care provided by both non-licensed and licensed professionals.

Three state agencies are involved in these programs. They are the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC), the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Department of Human Services -Divisions of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and Developmental Disabilities (DDD). These agencies work together to help individuals transition to adult services as they approach their 21st birthday.

The goals of transition planning include:

          • Making sure transition works the same way for all people served

          • Helping consumers direct their transition as much as possible and helping them to be as independent as possible

          • Making sure everyone understands what is happening

          • Keeping track of individuals who leave the MFTD HCBS waiver; and

          • Giving the state and families information to make the transition process better

Case Management Roles

For up to three, four, five years before an individual reaches age 21, DHS case managers and DSCC care coordinators will work with you and your child to make your plan. Together you will take the steps listed below:

  • Review your child's medical needs;

  • Learn about the services you can get from different state programs;

  • Decide how best to use services to help you and your child to make a gradual transition to adult services;

  • Have time to adjust to any differences in the services your child will get at age 21;

  • Assess your child's need for educational and vocational planning and services;

  • Assess your child's need for assistive technology services and devices;

  • Get help to link up with other support services; and

  • Develop a transition plan.

Transition Activities

DSCC and DHS staff will contact you from time to time beginning when your child reaches age 14.

When your child reaches age 14, DSCC will send you a letter telling you about the DHS programs. You will be asked to sign a release of information so DSCC can share information about your child with DHS.

When your child reaches age 15, DHS will send you information about the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program.

When your child reaches age 16, DHS will make a home visit with your DSCC care coordinator.

When your child reaches age 17, a DHS-DRS VR transition specialist will contact you. You will also receive information about Centers for Independent Living and other adult supports or services.

When your child reaches age 18, you will be able to try out some of the adult services. This will help you and your child make a gradual change to the adult services program. The choice to move to another HCBS waiver will be offered at least annually until your child's transition is completed. At age 18, your child may apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as an adult with disabilities.

When your child reaches age 21, your child will no longer be eligible for the MFTD children's waiver. Illinois, however, has several other programs for adults with disabilities. Your child is likely to qualify for one of these other programs as an adult.

After transition, HFS may contact you to find out how you felt about the transition process.

Rights and Responsibilities

You and your child can have an active role in planning your transition. You should use this chance to find out what will work best to help your child make his or her own decisions and become as independent as possible. Contact your DHS case manager or DSCC care coordinator if you have questions about the transition process. They are the key people in your child's transition process. If they cannot answer your questions right away, they will get the answer for you. Be sure to tell them if you disagree with any part of the transition plan for your child. They will do all they can to make the best plan for your child.

We strongly recommend that you work with the case manager or care coordinator before you file an appeal about something you do not like. However, if you disagree with service plan decisions the state agencies make for your child, you may, at any time within 60 days following the date of the "Date of Notice" appeal the decisions. You will be given a fair hearing. Such an appeal must be filed with the HFS in writing or by calling (toll-free) 1-800-435-0774 (TTY 1-312-793-2697).

The mailing address is:

Bureau of Administrative Hearings

401 South Clinton 6th Floor

Chicago, IL 60607

You may represent yourself at this hearing or you may be represented by anyone else, such as a lawyer, relative or friend. The DHS Family and Community Resource Center that serves your community will give you an appeal form and will help you fill it out if you wish.

Other Resources

Case managers and care coordinators will share information with you about transition. They will also tell you about the Centers for Independent Living (CILs). CILs assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities. CILs offer four core services: peer counseling, advocacy, information and referral, and independent living skills. CILs may also provide other services to meet the needs of people in their communities. More information on CILs can be found at:

The Arc of Illinois has prepared a Family Manual on Transition. If you can get on the Internet, you can get it at: or, call 217-557-1868 and we will send one to you.

The Illinois Life Span Project keeps a listing of support groups on its Web site at:

Illinois has a special health benefits program for people with disabilities who work. It is called Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities (HBWD). You can lean more about it at: or by calling 1-800-226-0768 (TTY 1-866-675-8440).

Department of Human Services, Division Rehabilitation Services:

Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Services:

Division of Specialized Care for Children:

Department of Healthcare and Family Services - Medical Programs:

If you need other help, be sure to talk to your DSCC care coordinator.