Special Education Bridge Loan Overview


The Special Education Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans to low- and moderate-income residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island to help them access appropriate special education for their special needs children.

Loan applicants must have annual pre-tax household income at or below the income limits for their household size. If your annual pre-tax household income is slightly above the limit in the chart below, please contact Loan@HFLS.org to speak with a Loan Officer about your specific situation; you may still qualify for an HFLS loan.

HFLS income guidelines. Contact loan@hfls.org for more info.

Special Education Bridge Loans provide school tuition while the family awaits reimbursement or payment from the NYC Department of Education (DOE) or their local school district. Loans are provided once a fully-executed stipulation (or a hearing decision) is obtained from the DOE or school district. The loans are immediately repayable from the settlement or decision proceeds when such proceeds are received by the borrower’s attorney.

Loan Process

The following information and documents are required to apply for a Special Education Bridge Loan:

  • Application Form completed and signed by the applicant and their spouse, if they are married. The PDF Application Form is available for download at the bottom of this page.
  • Copy of your fully-executed stipulation of settlement or hearing decision. HFLS cannot provide a Special Education Bridge Loan without one of these two documents.
  • Copies of government-issued photo IDs that include signatures and serve as proof of address for the borrower and their spouse (e.g. driver’s license). If the driver’s license does not include the borrower’s current address, HFLS may require proof of residency (e.g. a utility bill or account statement).

When you are ready to apply, email the documents above to Special Education Program Coordinator Ivy Ip at iip@HFLS.org, or mail them to Hebrew Free Loan Society, Attn: Ivy Ip, 675 Third Ave, 19th floor, New York, NY 10017. Once HFLS receives your completed application and stipulation of settlement or hearing decision, Ivy will be in touch with any questions and to move the process forward.

Please contact Ivy at iip@HFLS.org or (212) 706-0041 with any questions.

Once HFLS has reviewed and approved your completed application form and stipulation of settlement or hearing decision, you will receive two documents via email:

  1. A Parent Letter, two copies of which should be signed by you (and your spouse, if you are married).
  2. A Promissory Note, to be signed by you (and your spouse, if you are married).

Please sign and return these documents to Ivy.

In addition to the above, your attorney and the school your child attends will each receive a document for signature:

  1. Your attorney will receive an Attorney Letter, confirming the details of your settlement or hearing decision and the repayment of your loan directly from the proceeds received by the DOE once those proceeds are received by your attorney.
  2. The school that your child attends will receive a School Acknowledgement Letter, explaining the purpose of the Special Education Bridge Loan.

Once the signed loan closing paperwork above is received, HFLS will issue a loan check. If the loan is paying for tuition owed, the check will be mailed directly to the school. In cases in which the HFLS loan is reimbursing you for tuition funds you have already laid out rather than paying the school for tuition you owe, the check will be made out only to you.

When the Department of Education sends reimbursement or payment as per the stipulation of settlement or hearing decision, the funds will be sent directly to HFLS from your attorney’s escrow account. Your attorney will then send the funds directly to HFLS, in accordance with the signed Attorney Letter and the Parent Letter.

Required Forms Download