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For Caregivers (Respite)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone receive respite care?

Anyone can receive respite care, however, if you want a subsidy to pay for respite care you must apply for Respite Coordination through The Arc Montgomery County. Respite Coordination is funded through a grant from the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services. The Arc does not coordinate respite services through any Medicaid waiver program. 

In addition, you must be the unpaid primary caregiver residing in the same household in Montgomery County caring for a:

  • Frail senior
  • Child with challenging behavior
  • Child or adult with an intellectual disability
  • Child or adult with a functional disability (such as cancer, MS, Lupus, Advanced diabetes).

You are not eligible to apply for services if you or your loved one receives any kind of state, county, federal, military, veteran, or any funding that provides in-home or community-based services.

Examples of an unpaid primary caregiver:

  • a spouse caring for their partner who has dementia,
  • a parent caring for a child with autism
  • a parent caring for an adult child with an intellectual disability
  • a sibling caring for a sibling with MS
  • a grandparent caring for a child with a disability 
  • a partner caring for their partner who has a heart condition

Examples of those who do not meet the eligibility requirements:

  • a child or adult receiving respite services that are funded through the Autism Waiver
  • a senior receiving in-home support services that are funded through the Community First Choice Waiver (CFC)
  • a veteran receiving respite services or in-home care that is funded through the Community Pathways Waiver, Family Support Waiver, or Self-directed Services

My loved one is eligible for Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) respite. Can The Arc provide DDA funded respite?

Although The Arc Montgomery County is a DDA provider, we do not provide DDA funded respite. Please contact your Coordination of Community Services (CCS) to be connected with a DDA respite provider.

Do I need to have insurance or Medicare to apply Respite Coordination?

No insurance is required to apply for a subsidy for services.

Does The Arc provide direct respite care?

No, The Arc works with a consortium of home health care agencies, respite facilities, adult medical day, camps, and therapeutic programs.

Do you have an enrollment period? 

The enrollment period is from July- March only.

Do you assist families that do not speak or write in English?

The Arc has employees who speak Spanish and connects with home care agencies with employees who speak many languages. Translation during orientation may be available upon request. A translation tool is available on our website (located below in the footer).

What happens after an application is submitted?

Families are notified when their application is received.  It may take up to 30 business days to process an application. However, it usually does not take that long!  Once the application is approved, the primary caregiver is invited to participate in an orientation, which can be done in person or over the phone.

How does The Arc provide respite?

The Arc does not provide respite.  We coordinate the system of respite by working with a large consortium of home health care agencies, respite facilities, adult medical day and therapeutic programs that have employees that support children and adults with disabilities, and seniors. 

Do you provide the list of consortium members to families?

No, we do not provide a list to the families. We work with many different organizations which provide respite to the people we support. For example, we work with a home health agency that only provides respite to seniors. That agency does not have trained staff to care for a child with autism. We connect families with providers who can best meet the needs of their loved one.

What other factors are considered when helping families select a respite provider?

Many things including languages spoken in the home, geographic location, and the level of care a person needs. For example, a senior with dementia may need a Geriatric Nursing Assistant or Certified Nursing Assistance to care for them during respite. A child with autism will need an aide who specializes in caring for people with disabilities.

What is the next step after the family picks their respite provider from the consortium?

If the family chooses a home care agency to provide respite care, we will start approving respite hours. Each family approved for respite is eligible to receive up to 140 hours of respite in a fiscal year (between July 1 and June 30).

In addition, each family can use up to 40 hours each month for in-home respite, but no more than 10 hours per day.

Can a relative serve as my respite provider?

No, subsidy payment is not available for relatives.

Do I need to re-apply every year?

Yes, caregivers are required to apply for respite coordination on an annual basis. Renewal applications are delivered via postal mail in May and must be completed by June.