By Linaja Murray, CSNLG Attorney

Overview

When a student’s educational program is not appropriate, family members may privately fund after-school services to assist the student and seek reimbursement. Common examples of this include after-school tutoring or remediation in the area of reading, writing, and math. Families may also privately fund additional after-school services such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, vision therapy, behavioral therapy, and counseling.

In some cases, families may fund an entire educational program at a private school and seek reimbursement.

Getting Reimbursed

Whenever a family is privately funding an educational program or service, keeping clear payment records is absolutely essential to seeking reimbursement. Frequently, reimbursement for privately funded services is accomplished in a settlement agreement following the filing of a due process complaint, which may require the assistance of an attorney.

Tips

If you are privately funding an educational program or after-school therapies/services, you should adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Request and keep all invoices from service providers Store these invoices in a separate folder on your computer that is easily accessible prior to and during mediation.
  2. Make all payments using a trackable method. The preferred method for privately funding services is payment by personal check. A secondary method that allows for reimbursement is debit and credit card transactions showing that a payment was made. Copies of canceled checks or bank statements will be required for proof of payment. Payment in cash complicates settlement negotiations and should be avoided whenever possible.
  3. Keep clear records. An excel sheet (like the one linked here) showing the invoice number, cost of service, and payment method will be very helpful in settlement negotiations.

Tools

Here is a spreadsheet to help you keep track of those expenses.

 

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