For Medical and Social Services Professionals

A helpful flyer for patients and clients:

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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:

Checking out providers ahead of time:

 Contact our team:;  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 (no documentation needed)
  • Not getting any respite services from any other program or agency. (Respite provided by other family members, friends, etc. does not count.)

Key point: Caregiver must not be receiving respite care funded through any other program or organization, whether government-funded or private sector. Family helping out by paying for respite care doesn’t count as “paid respite”.

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 or diagnosis, 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:

  • This program is for PLANNED, not crisis or emergency respite. No exceptions.
  • Short-term!!!! Must use within 3 months, unless for summer camps or recreation. In that case, proof of registration is required.
    • Extensions may 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 $40/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 is a wait list since there are always more applications than funds. We cannot tell exactly when an award will be made. According to our contract with the state, vouchers are given based on the date of application, but also on an equitable distribution of vouchers across WA State, taking into account the population density and numbers of applications from different regions.
    • For example, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties are the most population-dense in the State. We receive more applications from those 3 counties than from all the rest of the counties put together. If an applicant is from one of those 3 counties, they will be slower to rise to the top of the wait list than if they are applying from the eastern part of the State, or a West-side county that is not as population-dense, such as Clallam.
  • Applicants get an email notice when we get their application. No interim notices are sent until an award is made.
  • Caregivers can reapply in one year from the date of their most recent application.
  • 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 charges over the amount of the voucher.

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. We are constantly working on that!
    • 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.