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Retroactive Subsidies

1. Some families who send their children to me are fortunate to receive a subsidy from an organization. The organization has many requirments and there is paperwork to be filled out charting the progress of the therapy as well as the dates of the sessions. A family came to me for therapy with their child. I started to see the daughter before receiving an answer that she was accepted for the subsidy. At the time that we started the therapy, the parents decided not to pay me until we knew whether she was accepted for therapy. She was indeed accepted. I sent in my form which included the dates of the therapy. However, there were three sessions that the organization didn’t pay for, which took place before their application was approved. I was granted 14 sessions to see her. I saw her seven times. In the meantime, we have agreed to take a break because the girl needs a lot of educational assistance which the school wants done over the summer. If she still is showing emotional difficulties after the summer the therapy can resume and I have the option of requesting from the organization another round of sessions.
My question is as follows: can I put down the three sessions that the organization didn’t pay for as taking place now? The organization doesn’t know that we have taken a break. In general, the organization’s representative does make it clear that the organization doesn’t pay retroactive. On the other hand, most therapists use up all of their sessions. The family is strapped for money and has other children with special needs.

2. At my work at another clinic where the fee is higher, many struggling families ask for discounts. My boss doesn’t give discounts, so what happens is that I give discounts out of my earnings. I usually do not discriminate and give anyone who requests a large percentage (33%) of my earnings. I do not ask for financial statements. Can I regard the discount I give as maaser money?

Thank you.

Answer:

1. Although I understand the delicacy of the situation, the best path is that of honesty, and you should not falsify the dates of the sessions. Although the regular policy is not to authorize retroactively, perhaps the organization can be consulted, and (pehaps in the merit of honesty) might nonetheless authoritze the sessions.

2. For needy cases that would qualify for receiving charity money, you can regard the discount as maaser money.

Best wishes.

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