Voucher Program

Image of senior woman with caregiver in the street.

What is a Lifespan Respite Voucher? 

Lifespan Respite WA offers support in the form of a voucher (financial award) for unpaid caregivers who support a family member, friend, or neighbor who has a special need or condition. The voucher is used to pay for services or programs that allow the caregiver to have respite, or “short breaks”. Lifespan Respite vouchers are for short-term respite

Respite care takes many forms, and care services may include: 

  • In-Home Services 
  • Recreation 
  • Day or Overnight Camps 
  • Day Services 
  • Education/Classes 
  • Retreats  
  • 24-hour care  

About the Voucher

How much is a voucher award? The usual amount of a voucher is $1,000 per household, per year (a year begins when you apply, and ends one year from that date). If you apply for respite for more than one person, the award will be divided among them.  

How long do I have to use it? There is a time limit of 90 days (3 months) to use the voucher, which begins on the date you are awarded and notified.  

How do I get respite services with a voucher? The caregiver selects respite providers from our list of approved agencies and programs. The caregiver signs an agreement with the agency or program for services. Bills for respite care are sent to Lifespan Respite Washington for payment.  

Can I use a provider that isn’t on your Registered Provider List? If a respite provider you want is not on our list, please contact us at getrespite@wapave.org and we will contact the organization to find out if they meet the qualifications and want to become a Respite Provider Agency. No individuals or independent providers may be used for respite services. 


To qualify for a voucher, you must: 

  • Not get paid to be a caregiver;  
  • Provide 40 or more hours per week of care or support to someone with a special need or condition (the person can be any age); 
  • Live in Washington State; 
  • Not be able to afford respite care on your own;
  • You or the person you care for are not enrolled in a Medicaid or other program that provides respite services, unless on a wait list and not scheduled to receive services within 30 days of application.

.If you are not sure you qualify, especially if you aren’t sure if a service you get is considered respite care, you can contact us at getrespite@wapave.org or call 253-442-3214. We are happy to help!

How to Apply for a Voucher

Apply with the online application. If you provide care for more than one person, you can enter them all on the same application. Note-the total amount of the voucher will be split evenly among the individuals you care for. 

You can contact us with any questions or for help applying at getrespite@wapave.org or by calling 253-442-3214.

Completing and submitting an application does not guarantee you will receive a voucher. We do our best to extend the limited resources and there are generally more requests than the current sources of funding. Vouchers are awarded according to priority needs as outlined by funders, including distribution across Washington State. Know of a potential funder? Email us at getrespite@wapave.org.

Funding for LRW Voucher Program

We are grateful to the U.S. Administration on Aging, Administration for Community Living, for providing funding in its award to the Washington State, Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS), Aging & Long-Term Support Administration, contracted to PAVE for Lifespan Respite Washington, September 2018 to August 2020.

We would like to offer more respite vouchers and you can help us! PAVE accepts and deeply appreciates contributions at any level to assist more unpaid family caregivers receive the vital respite needed. If you know of businesses or you would like to make a contribution, to donate please follow this link.

Special thanks to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

Amy Knapton and her amazing team at the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane continues to generously offer matching funds toward the Lifespan Respite Voucher Program! The crisis nursery has existed for 23 years to offer a safe place for young children when parents are having difficulty providing safe shelter and care for their children. These families may be dealing with issues as complex as substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness. Or, they may just be exhausted and worn-out from the demands of parenting. The crisis nursery’s primary services are:

  • 24-hour child care for infants and children under the age of seven
  • Parent education
  • Crisis counseling for parents
  • Referrals to other community agencies

Thank you, Amy, on behalf of all of us at Lifespan Respite Washington and our project’s respite provider agencies for your support. We appreciate your spirit in sharing what you have for the greater good of families in Washington State.