Client Alert – Disabled Students May Be Entitled to Compensatory Education After COVID-19 Crisis

March 27, 2020 in Client Alerts, COVID-19 Alerts

On March 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (“USDOE”) issued guidance addressing the risk of Coronavirus/COVID-19 in schools while protecting the rights of students with disabilities.  As a general rule, if school districts are serving students remotely, they must ensure that students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or Section 504 Plans continue to receive a free appropriate public education.  Once school sessions resume, the USDOE has stated that certain students may be eligible for compensatory education for IEP services that were either not provided at all, or those that were provided remotely but proved to be ineffective.  Parents of these students should consider documenting whether and when these services were provided, the current level of their children’s progress at the onset of school closings and mark any regression that the student may have experienced. Audio/video technology can be a useful tool in capturing footage for documentation to be submitted to the USDOE.

Useful information for students with disabilities can be found in the links to the OCR Fact Sheet issued by the USDOE Office for Civil Rights and a Q&A sheet on providing services to children with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information about Walsh’s Special Education practice or to seek information on how to implement best practices relating to Special Education, please contact Thomas J. O’Leary at (973)757-1045 or [email protected].


Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP has prepared the content of this alert for general informational purposes. The content should not be considered advice, recommendations, or an offer to perform services. You should not act upon any information provided in this alert without seeking professional legal counsel from an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. No representations are being made as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein.