frequently asked questions

Note: Individuals on the DIDD Waiver, ECF Choices Program, TennCare Choices Program, or Katie Beckett Program are not eligible for Family Support Program funding.

What disabilities are eligible for the program?

We consider most severe and developmental disabilities however your disability must significantly impact your daily life and must be permanent. We do not provide funding for those who only have a diagnosis of mental illness or aging related disorder. The purpose of the program is to support those with a developmental or intellectual disability, injury or trauma related disability (spinal cord injury, loss of limbs), or neurological/neuromuscular disorder (ALS, Muscular Dystropy, or Multiple Sclerosis).

Does the Family Support Program have income limits?

No, we are open to children and adults of all income levels. We do not ask any income information as part of our application process.

Can I apply for funding every year? 

Yes! We encourage everyone to apply every year. While we can't guarantee you will be selected for funding every year, in most counties we are able to serve nearly all who apply.  Even if you are wait listed, it is still possible you will receive funding before the year ends.

What information do I need to have to apply? 

You will need to have proof of residency, proof of disability, and proof of US Citizenship. For detailed information click here.  For some services, such as home modifications, you will also need quotes from licensed contractors. Other services that require quotes include: vehicle modifications, housing repairs, and dental care.

Do I have to have an intellectual disability to receive funding?

No, you do not have to have an intellectual disability. We consider most disabilities excluding mental illness and aging related disorders.

Who decides if I get approved for funding?

The Family Support Program is governed by a Council made up of volunteers who approve all funding requests. Many of these volunteers either have a severe disability or have a child with a severe disability.

I am severely disabled and meet all eligibility requirements. I received a letter saying I was not selected for funding and I am on the waiting list. What does this mean?

Due to limited funding, not all applicants who are eligible to receive funding are selected to receive funding. The Family Support Council decides on the priorities for funding every year and this determines who gets selected to receive funding.

Can I have modifications done to my home if I am renting for Section 8?

The only modifications available for rental homes are wheelchair ramps, but you must get permission from your landlord. The Family Support Program will not pay for repairs or modifications to any rental homes.

How much money is available for me to receive?

The amount of funding you receive depends upon the service requested and the amount of funding remaining in your county.  The maximum amount of funding any applicant can receive is $3500, however, most receive $2000 or less. 

I received funding last year. Do I have to reapply to get funding for the next year?

Yes, applicants must reapply every year.  Applications are available in January of every year and are due by March 30th.

Can the Family Support Program pay my parents to help me in my home? 

No, parents/guardians/spouses cannot be paid caregivers through the Family Support Program. We also cannot pay other relatives who live inside the home. 

I need a home modification. Can I hire anyone I want to build a ramp for me?  

If you need a ramp, please contact us prior to submitting your application.  The Family Support Program refers all ramp requests to the Home Access Program.  You may contact them directly at 615-242-4091.  For all other home modifications, you may choose your contractor but they must be licensed and bonded.

I need respite. Do you provide caregivers?

No, the Family Support Program only provides funding.  It is up to the family to locate their own providers.