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Parental Consent for the Use of Public Benefits or Insurance Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Section 200.5(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education establishes procedures for school districts and municipalities to access public benefits (i.e., Medicaid) to pay for certain special education and related services.  Consistent with section 200.5(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education requires that public agencies must:

  1. obtain a one-time written consent from the parent before accessing the child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance for the first time, including checking with the New York State Department of Health for a child’s Client Identification Number or for whether a child has Medicaid coverage; and
  2. prior to obtaining consent for the first time, and annually thereafter, provide parents with a written notification that ensures that they are fully informed of their rights before a public agency can access public benefits or insurance to pay for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  This notice must be provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

Please note that obtaining consent from the parents is not a duty that can be transferred to a third-party vendor such as a Medicaid billing agent.  Consent must be obtained by the public agency.

The Office of Special Education has issued a sample written annual notification form based on the sample form issued by the U.S. Department of Education for this purpose, a sample consent form that school districts and counties may use, and a question and answer document based on federal guidance. 

Please direct questions regarding Medicaid reimbursement to the New York State Education Department’s Medicaid Unit at 518-474-7116 or  Questions relating to the IDEA requirement for parental consent may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at 518-473-2878 or or the Special Education Quality Assurance Office in your region.