Lifespan Respite
Technical Assistance Center

Federal Funding and Support Opportunities for Respite
Building Blocks for Lifespan Respite Systems, 2015

Posted  January 2016

Primary Author: Vivian Gabor, M.P.H.

DOWNLOAD Full Report (pdf)  [click here to view Table of Contents and sections of the report]

This guide provides basic information about each of the federal programs that provide or could potentially provide respite funding or support. It is meant to be used by state Lifespan Respite Care Programs and their partners as a sustainability tool to help identify the funding sources that could: 

  • serve as the building blocks for the state’s Lifespan Respite system,
  • help serve the underserved,
  • help build respite capacity and quality, 
  • help recruit, train and retain respite workers and volunteers, and
  • lead to cross agency collaboration and partnerships.
This guide can also be useful to community- and faith-based programs and other local public and private entities that are looking for potential sources of funding to develop new respite services or programs, expand or sustain current training efforts for respite providers or volunteers, or to enhance respite quality and access. Family caregivers or those who assist them might find it helpful in identifying sources of funding to pay for respite. Having numerous potential funding sources for respite does not suggest that funding is even close to sufficient to meet the need, but it does suggest the need to coordinate funding sources to maximize their benefits.

The guide is divided into eight major sections. The first section focuses on Medicaid and Medicare programs. The second section, Medicaid Waiver Programs, describes the largest sources of federal funding for respite that serve all age groups and individuals with various disabling and chronic conditions. The next section, Additional Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Opportunities, describes provisions, some of which were enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, that have the potential to support respite. Three of the remaining sections describe respite funding sources specific to the age and/or special need of the care recipient: Programs for Children , Programs Serving Multiple Age Groups, and Programs for the Aging. The last two sections describe respite funding sources for American Indians and Military Families and Veterans.

Each program is summarized in a table in the Appendix.

DOWNLOAD Sections of the Report:

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements, including description of the Lifespan Respite Care Program


Medicare and Medicaid, including

Medicaid Waivers

Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefits

Medicaid State Plan Amendments

Money Follows the Person

Child Health Insurance Program, and more

Programs for Children, including 

Child Welfare and Child Abuse Prevention

Child Education/Health/Mental Health

Child and Family Low-Income Assistance

Programs Serving Multiple Age Groups

Programs for the Aging

Programs for American Indians

Programs for Military Families and Veterans

Supplement -- Matrix: Federal Programs that Support Respite Services for Veterans, Military Caregivers and Military Families, click here. This matrix includes updated information that may differ from the chapter on Programs for Military Families and Veterans.

Appendix: Summary Table


For summary version of report, see  Lifespan Respite "101" Tool Kit Fact Sheet: Building Blocks: Federal Funding for Respite for All Ages

This is a fluid document. If you find incorrect or outdated information or links that no longer work, please notify ARCH.

Thank you.



Lifespan Respite

Technical Assistance Center

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

4016 Oxford Street

Annandale, VA 22003

(703) 256-2084

This project is supported, in part by grant number 90LT0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.


The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is a division of the Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, Inc. | 800 Eastowne Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514 |



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