SSES Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Below are the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question not on this list, please contact us at ssesinfo@tea.texas.gov.

Questions about the SSES eligibility criteria. 

Questions about the SSES application process.

Questions about the SSES rules and requirements.

Questions about Senate Bill (SB) 1716 legislation concerning the SSES program.

Questions about using SSES funds.

Questions about and for service providers.

 

Questions about the SSES eligibility criteria.

 

What are Supplemental Special Education Services?

Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) are $1,500 one-time, on-line grants for eligible parents/caregivers of special education students with disabilities that have been impacted by COVID-19 school closures. 

Families of students with eligible disabilities can use the on-line accounts to obtain special educational resources and supplies and/or services such as additional speech therapy or other specific services.

Regardless of whether a student with a disability receives SSES, the student’s school must still meet all federal and state special education requirements to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student, including the determination of whether the student requires compensatory services because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In other words, SSES goods and services are offered above and beyond what is required by a student’s school to ensure that the student receives a FAPE.

Who is eligible for an SSES account?  Did the eligibility criteria change?

 

To be eligible for the SSES grant, students must currently be:

  • enrolled in a Texas public school,
  • enrolled in PreK - 12th grade,
  • and a student with a disability served through Special Education.

Eligibility criteria changed on November 1st, 2021, because of the passing Senate Bill 1716. 

Where can I find more help? 

 

  • ClassWallet is the online marketplace and where you will pay service providers.  If you need assistance or need to cancel an order, you can call them at (877) 969-5536 or email them at help@classwallet.com.
  • For general special education questions, please contact SPEDTex at 1-855-773-3839, inquire@spedtex.org, or spedtex.org.
  • You can also reach out to TEA for specific SSES questions at SSESinfo@tea.texas.gov.
  • For specific purchasing questions, you can also reach out to SSESPurchasing@tea.texas.gov, please add your order number if you have a specific question regarding an order. 

Do 504 students qualify for the SSES Program?

No, students served under section 504 do not qualify for the SSES program as they are not served through Special Education.  Please read here for more information about section 504.

Are students 18+ eligible for Supplemental Special Education Services?

Possibly.  Students must not have graduated prior to applying.  To qualify, students must be currently enrolled.

Are students in private schools eligible? 

No. Students must be currently enrolled in a Texas public school (district or a charter school).

Are accounts available per child or per family?

 

Accounts are available for and funded per eligible student. As an example, a family with two students that qualify would receive funding in their online marketplace account for $3,000 — the combined amount.

The application allows families to apply for multiple students within the same application, and families are encouraged to use the “Add Student” feature to submit only one application for families with multiple students.

 

Questions about the SSES application process.

 

What if I already applied for a student and now that student meets the eligibility criteria for an SSES account?

If you previously applied for a student who now qualifies, you should have received an email from info@classwallet.com on or around October 1st, 2021, with information about how to access your account.  Please also check your spam/junk folders for this email.

Did the application process change?

 

 

SSES grants are a one-time only grant, the eligibility criteria expanded on November 1st, 2021, but this is the same program that began in January 2021.

Also, as of July 1, 2021, the SSES Program transitioned to an internal application system.  All questions and requests for support regarding an application submitted, should be emailed to SSESinfo@tea.texas.gov

Please visit this site to get more information about the application process.

What if I can't lookup my student's UID?

 

There are a few main reasons why parents might be having trouble finding their students’ UID and/or completing the application:

  • The Student Lookup function attempts to find the UID that matches the student’s first name, date of birth, and SSN or S#. If any of these are entered incorrectly, the system will not find a match. Please double-check that you have entered everything correctly.
  • The Student Lookup function can only recognize a student’s first name if it is entered exactly the way it was when the student was registered. Any spaces, apostrophes, hyphens, etc., must match exactly. If your student’s first name has an unusual spelling or a symbol such as an apostrophe, you may want to check with their school to see exactly how it is spelled in the school records.
  • The Student Lookup function can only find the UID if the SSN or S# matches the one that was used when the student registered.
    • If an SSN was not used when the student first registered, the school will have given them an S#. These start with the letter “S” and have eight digits. If your student was registered with an S#, and you do not know the S#, please contact your student’s school and ask them to provide it. This will typically require proof of your identity.
    • If an SSN was used when the student first registered and you do not know it, please contact your student’s school, and ask them to provide it. This will typically require proof of your identity.​​​​​​

Unfortunately, TEA is unable to look up these numbers for your student, as we cannot verify identity. Your student’s school is the best way to get these numbers.

Are you applying for a student in Pre-K or this is your student’s first year in public school?

If you are applying for a student who is new to Texas public schools, we want these families to know that, although they still might be eligible, it may take longer to verify your student’s eligibility and your application may take longer to process.  The following are examples of students whose eligibility may take longer to verify, due to enrollment data that doesn’t become available until early 2022:

  • Pre-K students
  • Kindergarten students who did not attend Pre-K
  • Students who recently moved to Texas or weren’t in Texas last school year.
  • Students who were previously homeschooled
  • Students who previously attended a private school

What if I have another child that now qualifies for an SSES account?

 

If you have another student that now qualifies under the current eligibility criteria, you may apply for that student now.  If you previously applied for another student who now qualifies, it is not necessary for you to apply for this student again.  You should have received an email from info@classwallet.comon or around October 1st, 2021, with information about how to access the account associated with that student.

Is there a deadline to apply?

 

The SSES program is extended through the 2023-2024 school year due to the passing of Senate Bill 1716.  Currently, there is not a deadline to apply for an SSES account.  However, we encourage you to apply quickly as this is a first come, first serve grant. 

How long should I expect the application process to take?

All applicants will get an immediate confirmation email indicating their application has been received. 

Families that apply in the Fall of 2021 may see longer wait times for their award or denial emails.  Funding for these accounts will not begin until January 2022. We encourage parents of eligible students to apply, but we also want parents to know that new applicants may not receive an award notice until January 2022.  Visit the SSES Homepage to apply and for additional program information.

Will there be a paper application submission process for families without internet access/technology?

No. This is designed to be web-based. The system is compatible with mobile devices.

 

 

Questions about the SSES rules and requirements.

 

Is there a time limit on when I need to login? Is there an opt-in policy?

 

Yes. Beginning on October 1st, 2021, new rule changes also include a requirement to activate your account and complete the Parental Acknowledgement and Agreement affidavit within 30 calendar days or risk having their account funds reclaimed.  Account holders will receive several reminders to do these two things.

What if I didn’t know about the 30-day requirement to activate and complete the Parental Acknowledgement affidavit?

Please reach out to SSESInfo@tea.texas.gov.  The SSES team will send you an appeals form.  Appeals will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a time limit to spend funds?

 

Yes. Beginning on October 1st, 2021, account holders must begin spending funds within 6-months of receiving their account emails or their funds may be reclaimed.  The full $1,500 does not have to be spent within the first 6-months, account holders just need to begin purchasing and spending funds within that time period. Account holders will receive several reminders to begin spending their funds.

 

Questions about Senate Bill (SB) 1716 legislation concerning the SSES program.

 

Does SB 1716 create a new program?

No, SB 1716 extends and expands the program that has already been in place since January 2021. 

If my student already received an SSES grant, can I apply for a new grant after the passage of SB 1716?

No, the SSES program is a one-time only grant meant to reach as many eligible special education students as possible. 

When will SB 1716 go into effect?

 

SB 1716 goes into effect on or before December 1, 2021.  TEA may begin implementing programmatic changes to the current version of the SSES program to prepare for its extension and expansion due to SB 1716. 

 

Questions about using SSES funds.

 

After you’ve received your account info email, how does a parent access their funds?

 

Once parents have received their account award email from info@classwallet.com, parents will follow the steps outlined in the email.  The SSES program funds may only be used through the online marketplace on ClassWallet.  Families will not receive a gift/debit card, nor can families be reimbursed for purchased made outside of the ClassWallet marketplace.

I now have more than one student that has an SSES account, why are there two “balances” in ClassWallet?

 

If you received an account for an additional student on, or after, October 1st, 2021, these new accounts will look like they are a new “balance” in ClassWallet. This is because accounts created on or after October 1st, 2021, are now subject to a new parental affidavit and 30-day opt-in policy.  Spending funds will still work the same, they will just appear as a new “balance”. 

What services or goods are eligible for parents to obtain via their online accounts? 

 

The SSES credit is for you to supplement your eligible student’s education with educationally relevant products, technologies, and/or services.  For example, you may want to purchase additional hours of occupational therapy for your student, or you may want to purchase educational products that fit your student’s needs, such as computer software or hardware.

All purchases will be reviewed.  Further justification on some goods and/or services might be requested.  It is recommended that families include justification on their original order submission. 

Only one tablet/iPad and laptop/computer will be approved per eligible student.  Further purchase guidelines can be found here [link: https://www.classwallet.com/texas-sses-paaa/].  If you are uncertain if an item is eligible or not, it is recommended that you either reach out to SSESinfo@tea.texas.gov or SSESPurchasing@tea.texas.gov with the item and justification so that administrators can provide more information, or that you submit the item(s) in question in a separate order. Unfortunately, we do not have the capability to make line-item modifications to orders at this time.

A device that was purchased with SSES funds has broken or we’ve lost it, can we replace it? 

 

Requests to purchase replacements for items that get damaged or lost are not usually approved. It is strongly recommended that when purchasing electronics, parents also purchase a warranty and a durable case (if applicable) for the item. Requests for replacement items will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and only granted in unusual circumstances.

All purchases are subject to the SSES Parental Acknowledgement and Agreement.

How can a parent submit an invoice for an eligible service provider?

 

When requesting the purchase of a service, please ensure that a clear and legible copy of the invoice is uploaded through the ClassWallet payment portal. In addition, please ensure that the dates of service, service type, and service pricing are all visible in the invoice provided. Also be sure the invoice amount matches the amount requested, and does not include service fees. If you are using SSES funds to pay part of an invoice, please highlight the relevant line items.

If you believe your invoice might be hard to read, you can also email it at SSESPurchasing@tea.texas.gov, please add you order number in the subject line or in the body of the email.

How long does payment of goods/service vendors take?

 

Approval of purchases typically take 30 business days.  If you’re wondering where your purchased items are, we recommend you reach out to ClassWallet directly. You can call them at (877) 969-5536 or email them at help@classwallet.com.

Parents will never need to pay upfront, as the online marketplace will transfer funds directly to the approved vendors/service vendors. However, if a purchase exceeds the allotted funds in the account, the accountholder will need to pay the remaining balance out-of-pocket upon time of purchase approval.

Can parents submit for retroactive services and expenses incurred since the April 2020 closure of their public school?

Yes, if the service occurred during the pandemic, we can approve it. 

 

Can parents be reimbursed for goods and/or services? 

 

No.  The SSES program is not set up for reimbursements for goods or services.  Families can only use the funds in their ClassWallet account to purchase goods and services from vendors approved for inclusion in the SSES program.

If you see an article or other marketing materials from ClassWallet that refer to reimbursements, know that this isn’t a supported feature of the Texas SSES program.

 

Questions about and for service providers.

 

How does a goods or service provider become an approved vendor? 

 

Entities that sell eligible goods or services may submit an application to TEA to be considered as a vendor for the SSES program. TEA will determine if the goods or services provided are eligible and will ensure that these goods/services are provided at a negotiated cost. If approved, they will be added to the list of eligible vendors or service providers through the online marketplace. 

Who needs a background check, and how can I get one?

 

SSES has an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that only appropriate service providers work with the SSES program. One of those steps is making sure each service provider has passed a background check. Service providers working for a company or clinic get background checks when they are hired. Most individual SSES service providers are required to have a license or certification which also requires a background check. SSES may ask individual service providers who do not hold a license or certification that required a background check to submit one directly to SSES.

You can get your background check by going to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Fingerprinting Services web page and following the instructions.

What if a parent cannot find their child’s current service provider or a service provider in their area? 

 

ClassWallet works as a way to pay for a service received, not to search for a service provider.  You can use this link to search for current service providers on the SSES marketplace.  

If you still do not see your service provider, you can ask them to sign up to be a service provider on the marketplace.  Service providers not on ClassWallet cannot be paid using SSES funds.

Do public school teachers or service providers qualify to be SSES service providers? 

 

Yes, public school teachers and service providers do qualify to provide tutoring or supplemental services.  Both must apply to become a service provider using the correct credentials. 

SSES recommends that teachers and therapists do not provide SSES services to students on their current LEA caseloads and/or rosters. Doing so has the potential to lead to conflicts of interest between the family and their employer.

SSES recommends that teachers and therapists review relevant district and school policies as well as professional standards before applying and/or providing services.

Can parents be reimbursed for goods and/or services?

 

No.  The SSES program is not set up for reimbursements for goods or services.  Families can only use the funds in their ClassWallet account to purchase goods and services from vendors approved for inclusion in the SSES program.  

If you see an article or other marketing materials from ClassWallet that refer to reimbursements, know that this isn’t a supported feature of the Texas SSES program.

Must tutors have a special education certification to provide services?

Anyone providing academic tutoring must have a current, valid Texas Educator Certificate (TEC). However, it is not required that an academic tutor have a special education certification.

Is there a maximum per hour charge for services provided?

All invoices and receipts for goods and services are evaluated by TEA.  Vendors and service providers may be denied access if they are found to charge excessive rates.

 

 

SSES Contact Information
Contact Information

If you have additional questions or need help, email us at ssesinfo@tea.texas.gov or call SPEDTex at 1-855-773-3839.