Family Reimbursement Grant Application
Respite Reimbursement Log

Wildwood Programs
Family Reimbursement Grant Program
Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 types of items cannot be reimbursed?
• Any goods or service that is covered by Medicaid.
• Any good or service provided through school districts.
• We cannot reimburse for taxes, penalties, shipping and handling, fines etc.
• We are unable to provide gift cards.

What types of items have been reimbursed in the past?
• Music Lessons (music therapy, piano lessons, etc)
• Hippotherapy (Nipper Knolls, High-N-Mighty, etc)
• Athletic Programs (bowling leagues, baseball teams, swimming etc)
• Single Gym Memberships (Ciccotti Center, YMCA, etc)
• Summer Camps that provide programming for those with special needs
• Clothing, outerwear, and shoes
• iPad’s to help with communication needs
• GPS Trackers
• Recreation Programs (class at The Broken Mold, Ring Around the Spectrum etc)
• Bedroom furniture (mattresses, bed frames, etc)
• Co-pays for medical or therapeutic appointments (chiropractor, ABA, etc)

How do I apply for the Family Reimbursement Grant?
All applicants must complete and submit an application yearly. Care Managers can 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 Coordinator who checks the applications for completeness. A Reimbursement Review Committee comprised of parents has been established to review all requests and determine awards to families.

If my application is approved, how much money can I expected to be awarded?
Families typically receive awards ranging from $100-$500, depending on their financial need, family circumstances, the number of applications received, and available funds. Additional money may be awarded at the end of the year if there are unused funds, and families have submitted additional respite logs or receipts.

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 the coordinator.

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.

Can I apply for reimbursement from more than one agency?
Yes, but you need to indicate to what other agencies you have applied.

Can I apply for reimbursement funds more than once a year?
Families are encouraged to only apply once a year so that we can provide this service to as many families as possible.

How often should I submit receipts or Respite logs?
You can submit both receipts or Respite logs monthly or less frequently if you would like. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing.

What happens if I am awarded money and decide not to use it?
Please let the coordinator of the program know as soon as possible about any changes so that funds can be reallocated.

For additional questions please contact Heather Giorgianni, Coordinator of Family Reimbursement at 518-640-3315 or by email at HGiorgianni@wildwoodprograms.org




Wildwood as it is today would not exist were it not for the advocacy efforts of many dedicated and resourceful individuals. Similarly, the future availability of high quality services for individuals with neurological impairments, learning disabilities, and autism can only be ensured by the ongoing efforts of experienced and newly involved advocates alike.

To facilitate the work of those who advocate for our people, Wildwood's Board of Directors established the Government Advocacy Committee. This group meets regularly to discuss issues pertinent to the services people with disabilities need to lead lives in which their productivity and independence are maximized. We strategize around efforts that will promote the public policy that is required to make those services a reality.

We invite any interested persons to get involved with our efforts. The easiest way to do so is by joining our public mailing lists. Information about these lists can be found below.



Mailing Lists

The following lists are public mailing lists and anyone is welcome to join. Subscribing to a list is done through a completely automated process. You will need to send an empty message addressed as specified below to become a member. There is a confirmation process which is described in a message you will receive after sending your subscription request.


Advocacy Announce


This is a low traffic list used by Wildwood's Government Advocacy Committee to send out information about advocacy efforts and requests for advocacy assistance. Joining is a great way to learn what is happening policy-wise that could affect services for people with disabilities.
You can join this list by sending an empty e-mail message to advocacy-announce-subscribe@lists.wildwood.edu


Advocacy Discuss


This is an unmoderated list where members can have an open and civil discussion about policies that impact, or could potentially impact, services for people with disabilities. While the list is designed to be open and free-flowing, we do request that the discourse remain both on-topic and civil.
You can join this list by sending an empty e-mail message to advocacy-discuss-subscribe@lists.wildwood.edu



Note that if you ever wish to remove yourself from any of our lists, you can do so on your own. Instructions are included at the bottom of each message posted to the list.
Wildwood Programs, of course, retains the right to remove any participants of our mailing lists who misuse the service.


Find Your Elected Officials

An important part of advocacy is knowing how to contact your elected officials so that you can make them aware of your interests and views. In an effort to make it easy for you to do this, you can enter your Zip Code below and press the appropriate button.


Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? Join a Wildwood Programs or Foundation Committee! Gifts of time and talent make an enormous impact and joining a committee is a great way to use your expertise to benefit a deserving organization while learning more about the mission of Wildwood. 


2019 Flower and Garden Show!

The Capital District Garden & Flower Show is a spring time tradition that started over 30 years ago by Wildwood Programs. In 1987 a group of dedicated staff and volunteers created a community based fundraising event that provided opportunities for the individuals we support to participate in while raising important funds. During the modest beginning, there were just five landscape exhibits, a handful of vendors and several generous sponsors. Though small at first with just 4,500 visitors, it was the start of something very important for Wildwood and this region. A portion of each ticket sold at the show benefits Wildwood. Hope to see you there! 

Interested in volunteering at the Flower and Garden Show? Follow the link below or call Pennie Gonzalez at 518.631.2288

To Sign Up for Volunteer Opportunities Click Here!



Committee Opportunities:

Development- Provides input and guidance with respect to the development and implementation of fundraising initiatives, business plans, and public relations intended to promote the mission.

Events- Assists in the overall planning, implementation and promotion of Wildwood Foundation Events.

Facilities- Provides general oversight and direction as to the conditions and development of Wildwood’s facilities and grounds.

Finance- Assist the Board in overseeing all matters relating to the financial condition of Wildwood and making recommendations concerning the financial feasibility of projects, acts and undertakings referred to it by the Board.

Government Advocacy- Articulates and advocates for the needs of individuals with neurological impairments and related learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and autism, and their families, with government leaders and the legislature.

Human Resources- Provides support and advice to Wildwood’s management and Board of Directors regarding the welfare and benefit of the Corporation’s employees.

Investment- Provides direction to the investment of the Foundation’s assets.

Planned Giving- Assist in developing, implementing and maintaining a planned giving program through the Corporation, in order to strengthen the financial security of Wildwood Programs

For more information on any of the above opportunities, please contact Lauren Roecker, Director of Wildwood Foundation at 518-836- 2319 or lroecker@wildwoodprograms.org


Group Volunteer Opportunities:

Does your business or organization have annual volunteer days? This is a fun and meaningful way to engage your employees and give back to the community. Group projects are based on availability and limited to 20 people maximum.

To Inquire About Group Volunteer Opportunities Please Contact:

Amy Leisenfelder




Teach Adult Ed:

Do you love helping others grow in their education? Have a skill you would be interested in teaching others? Or looking for a potential internship in education? Then Wildwood’s Adult Ed Program maybe the perfect fit for you. This program offers numerous courses ranging from GED classes to cooking classes and everything in between. If you see a class you think you may be interested in teaching or if you have a skill you think would be great if shared with others, please contact us today!

For more information please contact:

Melinda Burns


518-640- 3352

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