Training Reimbursement Claims
- How does my department participate in the reimbursement program?
An ordinance to participate must be passed by the governing board of the Authority having Jurisdiction agreeing to train according to our Illinois Administrative Code. The ordinance must establish a probation period for probationary firefighters. The passed ordinance must be submitted to this office for approval. Once approved, training may be reimbursed that takes place after the ordinance approval letter is sent. Each department must also have submitted their NIFR's to the Office. Non-receipt of these reports will invalidate claims for that year.
- How often is the claim document generated?
The claim document is generated every year and forwarded to the Fire Chief's of those departments with approved ordinances. All departments that participate are E-mailed the information in early December. Make sure you check your Office of the State Fire Marshal's E-mail issued address for this information.
- How is the percentage for reimbursement determined?
The percentage is determined by computing the total dollars of claims submitted divided into the amount of the grant. The amount of grant is determined by legislature every year during the budgeting process.
- When should my claim paperwork be submitted to OSFM?
All paperwork must be submitted to this office by the date listed in the funding document.
- My claims for last year indicated that several claims for Fire Officer I courses were disallowed. Why?
The claiming process follows the same criteria as certification. An individual who is not certified as Firefighter III prior to taking the Fire Officer I course is not eligible for reimbursement for the Fire Officer I course. This applies to all levels of training. In addition if we do not have record of course completion, the claim is denied. We strongly suggest that fire departments verify with us that the information is being forwarded to us.
- What can I claim for training?
Claims are submitted yearly based on training taken during the calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31). The Funding Document lists the training that is allowable for that year and the deadline date that the claim form must be received in the office. It is also forwarded each year during October, either in written form or electronically, to the departments which have ordinances to participate in the reimbursement program on file with the office. Funding is available for training after the date the ordinance is approved by the division.
The division does not reimburse for a certification level received, but for the actual training hours and costs association for the level. In other words, if an individual receives training for a level over a 2 year period, the training hours are submitted on 2 years of claim forms showing the hours for each year. Example: Firefighter A received 80 hours of training for Firefighter III in calendar year 2005 and 60 hours in calendar year 2006. The Fire Department would submit a claim form for 80 hours in calendar year 2005 and another claim form for 60 hours in calendar year 2006. It would not submit a claim form for 140 hours for 2006 to cover the training hours in both years. Nor would the Fire Department submit a claim form for a certification once the certificate is received in the department. Example: Firefighter B received a certificate for Firefighter III in 2006, but the actually training hours are for 160 hours from 2001 to 2006. The Fire Department lists Firefighter B on the claim form for 160 hours of Firefighter III training on the 2006 claim form. This claim would be denied because not all hours were trained in 2006; the certificate was issued in 2006.