If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong - Charles Kettering
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change - Charles Darwin
Quality legal representation that is also cost-effective is what I offer my clients. The changes Mayor Bill de Blasio initiated during the 2014-2015 school year necessitate a different and less costly legal fee structure for parents seeking to secure tuition reimbursement. This school year, we saw a record number of settlements, and far fewer litigated cases. Mayor de Blasio’s new policy provided easier and more streamlined access to NYC money for private special education services. I anticipate that this trend will continue during the 2015-2016 school year.
My fee structure responds to the Mayor’s changes, which is good news for families. I will give your case the personal attention it deserves, and return your calls promptly when you have questions or concerns. Please contact me to discuss how I can help you, cost-effectively. I will accept only a limited number of clients for the 2015-2016 school year so that I can give your child’s case my personal care and attention.
Reimbursement in New York City
In real estate, the mantra is, location, location, location. In the Special Education world of tuition reimbursement it is “follow up, follow up, follow up!”
While we have seen a record number of 2014-2015 school year cases settled this year in just about every special education law office in New York City, the actual settlements have slowly been processed. NYC DOE has had great difficulty keeping up with processing all the settlements and it has required a great deal of following up on settlement negotiations, and afterwards, the submissions for funding for tuition and/or related services. Getting the settlements over the finish line and ultimately recovering the funding from NYC DOE requires tenacity and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! (This is done almost entirely by email, as there is an unwritten policy not to speak with parents’ attorneys on the telephone).
My advice to parents is to be as organized as possible. Ask for and keep copies of all invoices from related service providers, and “sync” those invoices with your credit card or check payments. Reimbursement requires that you provide invoices and proof of payment, and affidavits from the private school your child attends. Everything must “add up.” The more organized you are, the better.
If you want to recover funding on a monthly basis, affidavits from your child’s private school and related services providers are required. It would be wise to give your child’s school and providers a “heads up” if you intend to seek reimbursement on a monthly basis, so that they can plan ahead.
If you would like my office to make reimbursement submissions for you, I will keep you in the loop on my communications with NYC DOE, so that you know right away if there are snafus so that we can address them and quickly get back on the reimbursement (or direct funding) track.
My office can help guide you through this process. Please call to schedule a free consultation with me to discuss how I may be able to assist you.
Tracey Spencer Walsh