I'm not sure whether this will work - my first suggestion would have been the script. You could save the layer as a Photoshop file out of After Effects, then cut those layers to separate layers in Photoshop, bring it back in to AE as a composition, and you're all set. Much more work than the script, I'm sure.
While your suggestion is also a good but I want this within AE. Assume you have just one layer of text (say 10 words in this layer) and you need a script that could convert this one layer into 10 layers with one word on each layer).
I guess someone with expertise in script like Dan Ebberts would be able to send a relevant script to get this done.