Developmental Disabilities

Big Stone County Family Services determines eligibility for services and assesses the needs of adults and children with developmental disabilities.  The county identifies service and support options based on assessed need and available funding.  County staff provides information, advocacy and consultation.

For children age birth to 5 years
To be eligible, the child must be determined to have a substantial developmental delay by your school and/or medical professional.

For individuals age 5 and older
To be eligible, the person must have an IQ and adaptive scores under 70.  A person may also be eligible if they have a related condition such as cerebral palsy, autism, or a seizure disorder, and they must have limitations in areas such as self-care, communication, social skills, learning, mobility, self-direction and independent living.

The IQ assessment must be conducted by a licensed psychologist or school psychologist.

Income Criteria:
Family income limits are determined annually by DHS.  Considerations may include size of the family, presence of a disability in other family members and substantial debt due to the child’s disability.  Agency must have funds available for use to receive the grant.

Referral Process for Rule 185 (DD Case Management):

Parents or professionals can refer a consumer for Rule 185 (DD case management) services by calling Big Stone County Family Services’ centralized intake at 320-839-2555 and requesting a MnCHOICES Assessment.  The assessment alone does not determine eligibility for services.  Other eligibility information needs to be submitted and reviewed.


Following the referral, a certified assessor will be assigned and make contact to determine a time for the assessment.  It will be helpful to have copies of the most recent diagnostic report.   If there is not a current diagnostic, the case manager will assist the family or consumer with scheduling one.   If it is determined that the person is not eligible for services based on the information gathered and the eligibility requirements as stated in Minnesota Statue 256B.092, the case manager will notify the family or consumer in writing.

Funding Sources for Disabled Persons:

  • Group Residential Housing (GRH):  This funding source is for room and board in a facility licensed under GRH rules.   These facilities may include adult foster home, room and board, and assisted living.
  • Home and Community Based Waivers:  Must be on MA and eligible for the waiver based on information gathered at an assessment performed by a case manager.   Waiver allocations must be available at the county level to receive one for use.
  • Medical Assistance:  A Federal program that pays for medical care and some support services for low income families and individuals eight years or older.
  • Private Health Insurance:  May pay for assessments, adaptive equipment, therapy, counseling, and support services.
  • Supplemental Security Income(SSI) and Retirement and Survivors Disability Insurance (RSDI):   Cash benefits payable to children with qualifying disabilities whose families have a very limited income.   At age eighteen, the family income is no longer considered for eligibility.
  • Tax Equity and Financial Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982:  A program that provides MA for children with qualifying disabilities who live with their families and do not qualify for MA because the family’s income is above eligibility criteria.    There is a parental fee based on family income and family size.

Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Services:

Personal Care Assistant Services are provided to assist and support persons with disabilities living independently in the community.   This includes the elderly and others with special health care needs.   PCA services are provided in the recipient’s home or in the community when normal life activities take him/her outside the home.

Eligibility for PCA:

  •  Medically necessary
  •  Prior authorized
  •  A PCA assessment establishes the need for PCA Services
  •  A physician has signed the “Physician Statement of Need”
  • Approved in the recipient’s PCA care plan
  • Documented in the recipient’s PCA care plan
  • Provided by a PCA under the direction of a qualified professional, the recipient, or their responsible party

Consumer Support Grant:
For individuals who have been assessed by a Public Health Nurse and are determined in need of PCA services and are eligible, the Consumer Support Grant may be a way to allow the family to use those authorized PCA services to arrange for and direct the care of the child.   This would mean the family decides what services or goods they need to assist the child with daily living skills, respite, or other needs.   There needs to be someone in the family who can direct the cares for the child.

Family Support Grant:

The Family Support Grant (FSG) is an effective resource for children with disabilities who live or will live in their family home.   Many families with children with disabilities living at home incur higher than average expenses that are directly related to the child’s disability.

The Family Support Grant provides cash grants to families to offset some of these expenses and gives the families the flexibility to purchase an array of supports and services to meet the child’s needs.   The amount of and number of grants varies by county.   Families wishing to access the program need to complete an application form and provide information to certify the child has been certified disabled, a description of the family’s need, and other information as needed to determine grant eligibility.