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VR3  Ready...Reliable...Results September 2012

Sometimes it takes a village

In early February Kristy Parker* was in an automobile accident that left her with a severe brain injury. A few days later a hospital social worker at Palmetto Richland Hospital helped Kristy’s family file a disability claim.

Kristy’s condition stabilized, but she wasn’t improving. She needed to be moved to an extended care facility to receive proper long-term treatment. The social worker found a place for Kristy, but she couldn’t be moved because her Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) had not been established.

Terry Banks of the Columbia DDS.

The social worker called Disability Determination Services (DDS) to follow up on Kristy’s disability claim. She learned from Team Supervisor Terry Banks that additional medical information was needed before a determination could be made about Kristy’s Social Security Insurance (SSI) application.

“When you enter the hospital, once you’re stabilized, it becomes much harder to get updated, current information,” explains Banks. “So what happened is that at some point we began receiving duplicate records from the hospital.”

Because DDS didn’t have current medical records from the hospital that would allow her claim to be approved, “we were in a position where we would have to med defer.”

A medical deferment, or med defer, means that DDS has to place a hold on a claim and give the claimant 90 days to recover. In this case it would mean that Kristy would have to wait an extended period of time before a decision could be made.

So Banks got the social worker, Kristy’s doctor and her family’s legal representatives together and explained exactly what type of information DDS needed in order to make a determination on the claim.

“We needed records showing that Kristy’s current condition would not change over the next 12 months,” said Banks.

“You have to have patience to get all of these individuals together,” says Banks. “We have to understand what each other needs and what rules and regulations are involved so we can take care of the claimant.”

Once the needed information was faxed to DDS, Banks contacted the Social Security Administration (SSA) Field Office Claims Representative on a Thursday to let him know that the application was approved. Because this was a SSI application, the Field Office had to locate a family member to finalize who would be Kristy’s power of attorney and receive and manage her disability checks.

The SSA Claims Representative emailed Banks Friday afternoon that this was completed. Kristy’s family would begin receiving her disability payments and Kristy’s Medicaid eligibility was established.

“I’m just glad we could get the right people together at the right time to make a decision about this claim,” says Banks.

“We rarely know when we make a decision how it helps the claimant,” he adds. “Or their family.”

But this time Banks knew that his actions and those of everyone involved would allow Kristy to be moved from Palmetto Richland to a nursing facility qualified to care for her needs, as well as provide comfort and financial relief to her family.

“The bottom line,” says Banks, “is that sometimes it takes a village. Especially when you’re involved with a claimant who can’t speak for herself.”

* Real name withheld

Around the state

The Brain Injury Association Conference

More than 300 people attended the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina’s Annual Statewide Conference (July 12-13) at the Columbia Conference Center. The conference is a forum for exchanging information on programs, resources, and best practices in brain injury rehabilitation and services. Each year SCVRD provides a variety of support and assistance with this event. This year Janice Miller and Tanya Lambert of the Bryant Center presented a session on Therapeutic Exercise and Nutrition. The Bryant Center is also where one of the eleven SC Brain Injury Support Groups holds monthly meetings.

Youth Leadership Forum (YLF)

Learning leadership skills and self-advocacy, overcoming fears and challenging themselves to do new things are just some of the experiences had by more than 25 high school juniors and seniors with disabilities at this year’s YLF. The three day event (July 11-13), held at Newberry College in Newberry and the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in Columbia, included team building exercises, role playing, lectures, group activities and a ropes course.

YLF state and local partners include the Department of Education, SCVRD, Continuum of Care, PRO-Parents, Center for Disability Resources, South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP), Wil Lou Gray and the Developmental Disabilities Council.

Find out more about YLF in the current issue of Breakthrough.

High School/High Tech (HS/HT) Summer Institutes


The three day HS/HT Summer Institute in Florence (July 25-27) was filled with exciting activities and had an average of 16 students attend each day. Representatives from Florence-Darlington Technical College provided information about their programs offered, the admission process and the Assist Program. Speakers discussed diet and nutrition, military careers, and how to start your own business. Students also participated in a computer-based activity to help them figure out the careers they will be best suited for. On day three students toured Virginia College.

In addition to the HS/HT Summer Institute, a Study Skills event was held on August 3. Students toured a local college campus and received copies of syllabi and packets of information about the different ways people study and learn.


Greenwood’s HS/HT Summer Institute (August 9-10) was attended by 23 students on Thursday and 24 students on Friday. Thursday’s events included a “Work Skills” presentation by the Human Resource Manager from Covidien and an activity on Anger Management given by SCVRD.

As part of an interactive activity provided by the Greenwood Genetic Center, students were introduced to a laboratory environment and learned about sickle cell diagnoses. They also received information about careers available in the science/genetic field. Friday included a tour of USC-Aiken where the students learned about college life and met with the disability coordinator.

Did you know...

In 1957, the first year that SCVRD was an independent state agency:

the total agency budget was $876,000
there were 22 counselors statewide
there were 1,529 successful employment outcomes
clients’ most prevalent primary disability was orthopedic (40%)
DDS processed 4,534 disability claims



Anderson & Oconee-Pickens – For more information, call 864-224-3691 or 866-313-0082

9-11-2012 to 9-13-2012 Business & Industry Showcase at Clemson University’s Littlejohn Coliseum. The event is open to school districts from Anderson, Oconee and Pickens.

Greenwood & Oconee-Pickens – For more information, call 866-443-0162 or 866-313-0082

9-26-2012 10am-3pm Upper Savannah Job Fair, Greenwood Mall, 420 Bypass 72 NW

Camden – For more information, call 866-206-5280

9-19-2012 Business Partnership Network Luncheon
10-11-2012 Open House / Disability Mentoring Day

Aiken – For more information, call 800-861-9410

October 25, 9 am-11am – Open House

Marlboro – For more information, call 800-849-4878

10-18-2012 Job Fair at the Work Training Center

Richland – For more information, call 866-206-5280

Monthly Work Ready Workshop Seminars

Greenville – For more information, call 864-297-3066

10-26-2012 Open House / Disability Mentoring Day

Charleston – For more information, call 843-740-1600

10-24-2012 Presentation to 80 supervisors representing each Charleston County Park on topics including disability etiquette, rehabilitation technology (provided by Todd Batt), and an overview of VR services.
10-26-2012 Open House

Florence –For more information, call 843-662-8114

January 2013 Tickets have been secured for students to attend the January showing of Soul Street Dance-Breakin’ Backwards at Francis Marion University’s Performing Arts Center.

Enabling eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment

VR3 is published by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD), 1410 Boston Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29171.
The Public Information Office provides all news and information. News material may be reproducded with credit to VR3. In accordance with federal and state laws, SCVRD does not discriminate against any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability in employment or in provision of services.