Definition: Homebound services are provided for a medical reason or serious mental health issue, per physician or mental health professional determination that the student is unable to be at school. A child cannot be both homebound and enrolled in a school setting since that would be a duplicative enrollment.

Placing authority: A physician’s determination for health related issues, a mental health professional’s determination for mental health related issues, and a court-appointed authority’s determination for other (MN Rule 3525.2325 Subpart 1/ Care and Treatment). The written statement must include a diagnosis and a statement certifying that the child is unable to attend school but is able to receive instruction in the home, hospital, or community site, and must be signed by the prescribing physician, mental health professional or court-appointed authority. In addition a mental disorder requires a psychiatric evaluation, mental health diagnosis and a treatment plan. Statement must include a start date for services.

Population: The general education K-12 student is predicted (by the placing authority) to be absent 15 consecutive days from the normal school site.


Definition: Home-based services arise from decisions made by an IEP team to serve a child in that capacity. A child could be enrolled in a part-day school situation and a part day home-based situation.

Placing Authority: IEP/IFSP team. Not determined by a physician or mental health professional.

Not bound by number of days in attendance or absent.

Home-based services may also be offered as an option to non-disabled students who are suspended or expelled, according to the requirements of the MN Pupil Fair Dismissal Act.

Homebound vs. home-based is an important distinction, as our obligation to provide educational services to the student and corresponding reimbursement rates vary for each of these two areas.