Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program - Eligibility & Benefits

Program Description

The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program provides caregivers of elderly individuals a break from daily caregiving responsibilities and the stress associated with this responsibility. Persons caring for those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other conditions that impact mental functioning are eligible for assistance.

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 to improve cognitive functioning 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 legal guardians. Alternatively, services may be arranged with a licensed agency via a caseworker.

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


Eligibility Guidelines

In order to be eligible for the Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program, both the individual receiving care and their primary caregiver must be residents of Connecticut. There are also separate eligibility guidelines for the individual who will be receiving care as well as their primary caregiver.

Care Recipients

The following guidelines must be met in order to be eligible as a care recipient:

  • Must need assistance with two or more ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). This includes tasks such as bathing, eating, getting dressed, using the bathroom, walking, and continence. 
  • Must be diagnosed with a cognitive condition, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and Pick’s Disease, and need to be supervised a significant amount of time.

Other care recipient eligibility guidelines include the following:

  • Must be a minimum of 60 years old.
  • As of 2017, income must be less than $44,591 a year. 
  • Must not have liquid assets greater than $118,549 in value. Liquid assets refer to items that can easily be sold for cash, bank accounts, retirement plans, etc.

Primary Caregivers

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Although not a requirement, those providing full-time care and residing with the care recipient are given priority for assistance.

Low income elderly individuals who need assistance the most, and seniors who are full time caregivers to adults with severe mental conditions are given priority when determining eligibility.

 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 will cover up to $7,500 in caregiving relief / assistance services a year. 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.


How to Apply / Learn More

For more information about this program or to obtain an application, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). One can find the 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.