Related Services: CAN WE PAY OUT OF POCKET FOR SERVICES TO KEEP THE SAME PROVIDER?

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Jesse:  We have an IEP in the state of California. My daughter has NF1 which causes some emotional and developmental issues. It is very hard for her to get to know new people and work with them. She has been working with the same OT for the last 3 years. The loss of this OT is devastating. The company she works for no longer contracts with California. Can I legally pay for this out of pocket? Is there anyway to keep this OT? Please help a very frustrated mama!

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2 Comments on "Related Services: CAN WE PAY OUT OF POCKET FOR SERVICES TO KEEP THE SAME PROVIDER?"

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Parents often pay for services by tutors, OTs, SLPs, etc. Legally, there is no reason why you can’t pay a provider to continue working with your child.

I hope the OT is available and you can work this out logistically.

I’d say you can pay whoever you want for private services. In CA, related services on an IEP must be provided by a nonpublic agency (NPA) that is licenced as such by the state. That’s the law. The only loophole is if the district reimburses you for privately funded services. You may be able to get a reimbursement arrangement written into the IEP, but there is nothing that obligates the district to do it that way. The law favors NPAs. If the OT was specifically named in the IEP, and not just OT services in general, you can enforce continued services as a matter of procedural compliance with the requirement that the IEP be implemented as written. However, because people can quit, get fired, or die, it’s usually a bad idea to name people or agencies individually in an IEP.