For Medical and Social Services Professionals
What we do:
- We offer caregivers a financial grant in the form of a voucher to use for short-term respite care.
- We offer information and direction to get other possible sources of respite funding and caregiver supports
Voucher information: https://www.lifespanrespitewa.org/voucher-program/
Checking out providers ahead of time: https://www.lifespanrespitewa.org/voucher-program/current-registered-providers/
Contact our team: firstname.lastname@example.org; 253-442-3214
Eligibility: A caregiver must
- Live in Washington State
- Give 40 or more hours of care, including supervision every week to someone (family member, friend, neighbor)
- Must not be paid for the care they are providing
- Not able to afford respite care on their own
- Not getting any respite services from any other program or agency. (“Respite” that is given by other family members, friends, etc. does not count.)
Key point: state funding requirements mean that caregivers who are getting respite paid for by any taxpayer funded program: DDA, Family Caregiver Programs—are not eligible for this voucher
On the other hand, families who are approved for publicly funded programs, but who won’t get services for at least 30 days (or on the no-paid services list), are eligible for a Lifespan voucher.
- We do not ask for any proof of condition, any proof of income, or any documentation. Everything is self-reported.
- We are required to get a statement (verbal, emailed, texted) from a caregiver if the care recipient is on Medicaid, that no paid respite is being received from any program or agency. Financial help from family members is ok.
Program essential points:
- Short-term!!!! Must use within 3 months.
- Extensions might be approved under compelling circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.
- Usual award amount is $1,000.00 per household.
- Sounds like a lot, but care provider fees begin at $35/hour and go up from there. Easy to use up the grant in 3 months or less.
- Only ONE voucher per household—multiple care recipients, voucher is evenly split and can’t be transferred from one family member to another.
- There may be a wait list depending on fund availability. The wait list is very long at this point in time (August 2023).
- Awards are made as funds become available. Position on wait list is first-come, first-served.
- Applicants get an email notice when we get their application. No interim notices until an award is made.
- Can reapply in one year from most recent voucher’s application date.
- Caregivers have the responsibility to find out the hourly or session rate charged by the program or agency, and to keep track of hours or sessions so as not to run over the voucher amount. Caregivers are financially responsible for any such amount overage.
Considerations for families looking into our voucher program:
The biggest barrier to voucher use, for many caregivers, appears to be contacting programs or agencies and persisting until they get a response back. This is why we recommend checking providers out even before a voucher is awarded.
There is no guarantee that any program or agency has availability even when on our Registered Providers list.
Family members can:
- Check on our “Current Registered Providers” webpage to find out if the type of respite they have in mind is available in their county.
- We have providers of some type in each county in WA; however certain counties do not have much choice of providers.
- Applicants for our voucher funding may suggest a provider if there is no availability among the registered providers, or if they have requirements registered providers cannot meet. The team will reach out and see if the suggested provider is willing to take the voucher funding.
- Check our eligibility requirements and the time and financial constraints of the program before applying.
- Apply with the online form, have someone (professional or other family member) help with the form, or call us for help filling out the form.
- We can’t pay a family member OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL to be a caregiver. The only respite we will pay for is from one of our Registered Providers (background checks, insurance coverage).
Our website is Google-translatable and considered very accessible.
We offer translation services if arranged in advance for almost any language.