We will begin accepting applications for the 2023 Grant Year on 1/1/2023
|Respite Verification Form|
|2023 Family Reimbursement Application Form|
|2023 Family Reimbursement Program|
Family Reimbursement Grant Program
Frequently Asked Questions
*Updated December 2022*
What is the Family Reimbursement Grant?
The Family Reimbursement Grant is an OPWDD funded program that financially assists families to care for a family member with a developmental disability. Families are reimbursed for expenses they have paid out of pocket. Requests must be directly related to the needs of an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability.
Who is Eligible to apply for the Family Reimbursement Grant?
The grant serves people with developmental disabilities of all ages who live with a family member. We serve individuals in the following counties; Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington. Individuals living independently, or in a certified setting are not eligible. To apply, individuals must be eligible for OPWDD services and provide their Letter of Eligibility.
What is the schedule for the review of applications?
The Committee schedule for 2023 is as follows:
- Completed applications received by 4pm on February 24th will be reviewed March 2nd. Notifications will be made by 4/1/2023.
- Completed applications received by 4pm on May 26th will be reviewed June 1st. Notifications will be made by 7/1/2023.
- Completed applications received by 4pm on September 1st will be reviewed on September 7th. Notifications will be made by 10/1/2023.
What types of items can be reimbursed?
- Music Therapy
- Respite (for those not receiving SD services, or any Waiver Respite)
- Camp (NYS only, DOH permit must be submitted)
- Hippotherapy (Nipper Knolls, High-N-Mighty, etc)
- Athletic Programs (Adaptive Sports, etc)
- Single Gym Memberships (Ciccotti Center, YMCA, etc)
- Clothing, outerwear, and shoes (Clinical Justification required)
- Electronic Devices to help with communication needs (Clinical Justification required)
- GPS Trackers (Clinical Justification required)
- Recreation Programs (classes at The Broken Mold, Ring Around the Spectrum, etc)
- Legal fees related to guardianship and special needs trusts
- The following requests qualify for once in a lifetime Reimbursement:
- Rent/mortgage/utilities (no more than two months behind)
- Rent Arrears (no more than two months behind)
- Pest Control
- Home Maintenance
What items cannot be reimbursed?
- Any good or service that is covered by Medicaid.
- Any good or service that should be provided through school districts (OT, PT, etc)
- We cannot reimburse for sales tax, penalties, shipping and handling, fines etc.
- Experimental Treatments
- Luxury items (swimming pools, etc)
- Travel Related Expenses
- CBD or Marijuana products.
- Funeral Expenses
- Mileage and/or Transportation
- Com Hab Activity Fees
- Recreation Respite Activity Fees
- Upgrades to items/services covered by HCBS Waiver or Self Direction
How do I apply for the Family Reimbursement Grant?
All applicants must complete and submit the OPWDD FSS FAMILY REIMBURSEMENT APPLICATION. We accept one application per quarter, per individual. Care Managers should assist in the completion of applications, but it must be signed by the caregiver. Applications are available on our website as well.
Who reviews Family Reimbursement Grant applications?
The first review is done by the Director who checks the applications for completeness. A Reimbursement Review Committee composed of parents has been established to review all requests and determine awards to families.
If my application is approved, how much money can I expect to be awarded?
OPWDD has set the following limit on Reimbursement: A maximum of $3,000 can be reimbursed per year per person per year. The funds must be spent between January 1st and December 31st for the year you are awarded funds.
If I am awarded money for respite, can Wildwood provide the respite worker?
Unfortunately, no, you must hire and make all arrangements for respite care yourself. If you are approved, you will be mailed a respite log to complete and return to Wildwood. *Respite staff need to be paid at least the NYS minimum wage, but can not be paid more than $26.49. If this is not feasible, a justification must be submitted with your application.
Can the Respite Worker that I use be a family member?
Yes, as long as the family member does not live in the same household as the individual receiving services. Parents of individuals are also not allowed to be reimbursed for providing Respite care.
My loved one has Self Direction, can I apply for Family Reimbursement?
Yes, but the funds must be allocated to Wildwood in the Approved SD Budget under Contracted Services. Proof that the request can not be covered by IDGS or OTPS may be requested.
Can I apply for reimbursement from more than one agency?
No. OPWDD requests that families utilize ONE agency for Family Reimbursement per Calendar Year.
Can I apply for reimbursement funds more than once a year?
Yes, you can apply once per committee meeting. One Respite Application and two Goods and Services, or three goods and services applications per year. You can not exceed the previously mentioned reimbursement limits per year.
How often should I submit receipts or Respite logs?
You can submit both receipts or Respite Verification Forms monthly or less frequently if you would like. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing.
What if the purchase is expensive and we are unable to pre-purchase?
Immediately have your Care Manager talk to the Program Director, we may be able to provide a Vendor Check.
What happens if I am awarded money and decide not to use it?
Please let the Program Director of the program know as soon as possible about any changes so that funds can be reallocated.
For additional questions please contact Heather Giorgianni, Director of Community and Individualized Services at 518-640-3315 or by email at HGiorgianni@