Lifespan Respite Care Vouchers are available for eligible family caregivers taking care of a person of any age with special needs. The vouchers are made possible through federal funding awarded to the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, the state’s federal Lifespan Respite Grantee.
The voucher process is managed by the High Country Area Agency on Aging, and the vouchers carry a one-time maximum annual value of $500. These reimbursement-based respite vouchers are intended to serve those families who are “falling through the cracks” because they are unable to access other sources of publicly-funded respite and cannot pay privately or are in need of more respite due to a crisis or emergency situation. Please consider your waiting list clients or other caregivers who are most in need of respite and help them by completing an application on their behalf.
As in years’ past, the $500 caregiver-directed vouchers are accessed via an online application you, as a referring agency or professional, help the caregiver complete. Applications are not accepted directly from caregivers. They must be completed by a referring agency professional. A county DSS case manager, school or agency social worker, hospital or health care discharge planner, and many others working directly with families in need can be a referring agency professional.
Role of a Referring Agency Professional in the Lifespan Respite Voucher Program
1. Familiarize yourself with the respite voucher application. The application is designed to be filled out by a referring agency/professional with the caregiver on the phone or in person with you as you complete the application. You can find the application at: https://www.highcountryaging.org/ under the Respite tab at the top of the home page.
2. By assisting with the application, you complete the various fields of the online application and attest that you have asked questions to ensure that the family understands this is a $500 one-time reimbursement-based respite voucher and that the family reasonably meets one or more of the following eligibility criteria:
- The family is ineligible for any other respite resource
- The family has exhausted all available respite resources and is unable to pay privately
- The family is on a wait list for respite resources
3. Once the application is complete, click “Submit.” The application will be sent directly to the High Country Area Agency on Aging who will take it from there. High Country AAA is the contracted administrator of this respite voucher program. If the application is not complete, the AAA will contact you for the missing information.
4. If the application arrives complete and there are no concerns, the High Country AAA respite voucher coordinator will award the voucher and send an award packet to the caregiver.
5. From then on, the respite voucher coordinator at the contractor is the contact for the caregiver on the use and reimbursement of their voucher. Reimbursement checks will be issued by the High Country Area Agency on Aging directly to the caregiver as explained in their award packet.
For more information contact Pat Guarnieri at High Country Area Agency on Aging by calling 828-265-5434 or emailing email@example.com.