Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program - Eligibility & Benefits

Program Description

The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program provides caregivers of individuals a break from daily caregiving responsibilities and the stress associated with this responsibility. Persons must be caring for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias such as Lewy Body Dementia, FTD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Both daytime and overnight respite care is available for residents of Connecticut via this program. It also includes a variety of services, both in and out of the home, such as adult day care, having someone come to the home to look after the care recipient, placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility for a short time, and exercises that may sustain the cognitive function of the care recipient.

Families of the care recipient may hire an individual of their choosing to provide respite care to ensure the care recipient is comfortable with their caregiver. This may include relatives, but not spouses or conservators. Alternatively, services may be arranged with a licensed agency via a caseworker.

The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care program is administered by the local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, and overseen by the Connecticut State Unit of Aging. Funding comes from the Connecticut State Department on Aging.

Eligibility Guidelines

The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program has separate eligibility guidelines for the individual who will be receiving care as well as their primary caregiver.

Care Recipients

  • Must be diagnosed with a cognitive condition, such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body Dementia, Pick’s Disease or other related dementia. As of 2019, annual income must be less than $45,620.  This number remains consistent with the income limit from 2018. 
  • In 2019, must not have liquid assets greater than $121,283 in value. Liquid assets refer to items that can easily be sold for cash, bank accounts, retirement plans, etc.
  • Must be a legal resident of Connecticut. However, length of residency is not a factor in determining eligibility.
  • Applicants cannot be eligible for the Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program if they are receiving services and benefits from the Connecticut Homecare Program for Elders.

Primary Caregivers

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Cannot be a spouse or a conservator

Note that the primary caregiver does not need to a Connecticut resident.

Applicants are not eligible for the Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program if they are receiving services and benefits from the Connecticut Homecare Program for Elders

Benefits and Services

A variety of services, which include in home and out of home care, are covered under this program. This may include day care services for the adult care recipient, nursing home care for a brief period, or having someone come into the home to care for the elderly individual. Homemaker services, such as housecleaning, cooking, and doing laundry, may also be available, as well as services to improve the functioning of the care recipient, such as cognitive exercises.

This program may cover up to a maximum $7,500 in caregiving relief / assistance services a year. Every case is evaluated independently, so one should not assume they would be eligible for the maximum. No more than 30 days of respite care outside of the home will be covered, with the exception of adult day care services, which has no limit.

The family of the care recipient must pay a 20% co-payment for the services their loved one receives. However, if they cannot afford the co-payment, the Agency on Aging care manager may elect to waive the co-pay requirement based on financial hardship (as demonstrated by the applicant).

How to Apply / Learn More

For more information about this program or to obtain an application, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Connecticut has five different Area Agencies on Aging. One can find their nearest AAA here.  

A statement from the care recipient’s doctor must be submitted with the application that states the individual has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another condition that impairs cognitive functioning. After applying for services, the applicant and/or caregiver will be contacted by an AAA case manager in order to determine the needs of the care recipient and appropriate level of services.

Be aware that wait lists for assistance may exist and these wait list may be different in different areas of the state.