Low Incidence Service & Equipment Funds
Written requests for reimbursement of low incidence expenditures may be submitted to the SELPA office. Medical or life-long adaptive devices such as glasses or hearing aids are not eligible for funding reimbursement as they are not "required to benefit" for educational purposes but rather life-long adaptive devices. Equipment and/or materials that are eligible for funding from another agency or insurance coverage are not eligible for Low Incidence reimbursement.
Requests less or equal to $2,500 will be reviewed by the SELPA Director. Requests greater than $2,500 will be reviewed by the Low Incidence Committee. If there is a concern for funding, all requests will be reviewed by the Low Incidence Committee. The minimum single request must be for $50.00. Low cost eligible equipment and/or materials for the same student may be logically combined to reach the $50 minimum reimbursement request, subject to review by the SELPA Director.
Requests must be made by April 1 for the current school year. Requests made after that date will be processed on the following year's budget, beginning July 1. The deadline for sending invoices and warrants for reimbursement is June 1st.
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team authorizes the provision of specific specialized equipment for school use as it relates to the unique educational needs resulting from the low incidence disability, as they would any other service on the IEP. The Local Education Agency (LEA) is responsible for providing for the equipment, as they would any other service on the IEP, whether or not reimbursement is provided. The low incidence fund provides for LEA reimbursement where eligible, according to state guidelines, SELPA Policy and the availability of funds.
The policy provides that the "Low Incidence Funds: Request for Reimbursement"
form be completed as the cover page, copied in pink, and sent to the SELPA
office with the full IEP (i.e., Program Description Summary, Present levels
with baseline data, and Goals and Objectives reflecting the use of the
equipment) and a Justification Form to document the need for the equipment.
The Justification Form is not to document the child's disability but rather
the considerations of the team and an evaluation of the ability of the
child to use the equipment. Complete packets of information should be
submitted to the SELPA office with the signature of the LEA administrator.
Partial packets should not be submitted and will be returned. Documents
should not be faxed unless requested by the SELPA office. The IEP should
be less than three months old or an explanation should be provided such
as: "a borrowed piece of equipment has been tried for the past six
months before purchase was requested."
Certificated special education professionals should complete the Justification
Form. Equipment vendors cannot complete Justification Form.
The equipment becomes part of a statewide inventory and must be tagged with a state label that includes an inventory tracking number. The person who completes the Justification Form should follow-up with placing the tags on the equipment and provide training to staff on how to use the equipment. When the first pupil no longer needs the equipment, the equipment must be made available to other pupils within the SELPA and the state. Items must be tracked by the SELPA inventory process and available for audit by the state. The LEA requesting the equipment must store the item. The LEA is responsible for notification to other LEA members of the SELPA and the SELPA Office when equipment becomes available for use by another student. The responsible LEA may not discard items without specific authorization from the SELPA office after a written request. The SELPA must be kept informed of the location of the equipment at all times. Transfer of equipment to a new student requires submission to the SELPA for authorization using the same process as an original purchase. The transfer from one pupil to another should not be made until the authorization is processed and received from the SELPA office.
The policy provides that the LEA that will order the equipment and house it. The easiest guideline is that the LEA where the child is placed be the one to order equipment. If the child were placed in a county program, the county would order the equipment and be reimbursed for the cost after processing. If the child were placed in a district program, the district would order the equipment and be reimbursed for the cost after processing. County itinerant staff may assist district or county programs by making recommendations and participating in the assessment. Responsibility for complying with the policies and regulations belongs to the ordering LEA.
One other caution about the equipment: It is for school use to allow the student to access his or her educational program. Equipment may not be removed from a public school site unless specifically addressed on the IEP and the LEA administrator provides written authorization. The purchasing LEA is accountable for the equipment including replacement if lost or stolen. Damage which occurs while the equipment is away from the school is also the responsibility of the LEA. Repair or modification of the equipment may be reimbursed through the same process of submitting a low incidence request.
Requests for low incidence equipment shall not supplant the need for
general classroom materials, supplies, and equipment provided as a standard
to other similar classrooms.
An example of a request that may go to the LI Committee for review: A computer might be denied unless it is needed for specific adaptive devices. Devices such as a dedicated word processor should be considered instead. Dedicated word processors are considerably less expensive, smaller, portable and allow the student to do written language and math. The dedicated word processor would continue to allow the special education student to access the curriculum along with their classmates.
When completing the Low Incidence Equipment request please do the following:
Contact your Program Specialist or LEA special education administrator if you have any questions or need assistance.
Checklist for Submitting Requests for Reimbursement
Low Incidence Service Funds