Pass the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act in 2016 to Mark the 10th Anniversary!
The Lifespan Respite Care Act was enacted on December 21, 2006. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the bill being signed into law.
The National Respite Coalition and many of our partners in the Lifespan Respite Task Force are working with the bill's champions, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), to pass the Lifespan Respite Reauthorzation Act (HR 3913) by December 21, 2016.
We need your help to make it happen! Please reach out to your Member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the bill.
For more information and talking points, see this important Alert and circulate widely to your networks and membership. For more information on the bill, including endorsing organizations, visit the Lifespan Respite Action Center.
May 18, 2016
Forty National Organizations send letter to Congressional Appropriators in Support of Lifespan Respite and National Family Caregiver Support Funding
Show your support! Sign onto Letter to Congress from state and local groups in support of FY 2017 Lifespan Respite and National Family Caregiver Support Funding -- then make an office visit!
If your state respite or caregiver coalition or your local or state agency, organization or program, would like to sign onto the letter to Congressional appropriators in support of FY 2017 funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program and the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), please follow this link and provide your contact information. The NFCSP was recently expanded in the enacted Older Americans Act reauthorization to ensure that older parents of adult children with disabilities are eligible for respite and other family caregiver supports.
31 Members of the US House of Representatives send letter to Congressional appropriators requesting $5 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program in FY 2017
The final Congressional bipartisan letter championed by Rep. Langevin and Rep. Harper and signed by 31 Members of the House of Representatives was sent to the House Labor/HHS/ Education Appropriations Subcommittee. The letter requests $5 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program in FY 2017. This is the amount requested by the President and would result in an increase over FY 2016 levels if included in the final appropriations bill. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) sent an individual request for the same amount.
The ACT Family Caregiver Congressional Caucus champions letter in support of Lifespan Respite and National Family Caregiver Support Program Funding House Letter Senate Letter
February 24, 2016
Rep. Langevin and Rep. Harper Circulate Dear Colleague Seeking Members to Sign Letter to Congressional Appropriators in Support of Lifespan Respite Funding
FY 17 Funding Request: Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) are asking Congressional appropriators to fund the Lifespan Respite Care Program (LRCP) at $5 million in FY 2017. This is the amount requested by the President in his FY 2017 budget proposal. Current funding is $3.36 million for FY 2016.
Call your Representatives at 202-225-3121 and ask for your Member’s office. Ask for appropriations or health staff. If you don’t reach them, leave a message!
Ask your Representative to sign the Dear Colleague Letter to Congressional appropriators requesting $5 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program in FY 2017. Deadline for Members to sign is March 21, 2016.
Phone calls or personal visits are best. For contact information or to send an email to your Member of Congress, visit U.S. House of Representatives.
Circulate this apppropriations alert widely to your networks.
December 18, 2015
Congress Passes and President Signs Omnibus Funding Bill for FY2016. Caregiver program increases now a reality! Both the House and Senate passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Omnibus appropriations bill) and the President signed it into law. Increased domestic discretionary funding and the end of the sequestration were made possible by enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that was signed into law on November 2. After months of serious and sometimes contentious negotiations, enactment of this FY 16 funding bill means forward movement for supporting family caregivers.
For FY 2016, Lifespan Respite received an additional $1 million for a total of $3.36 million, the National Family Caregiver Support Program will receive an increase of $5 million ($150.6 million), the Native Caregiver Support Program will receive an increase of $1.5 million ($7.5 million). The agreement also provides $605 million for the Veteran's Caregiver Support Program, which is $50 million above the President's budget request. The funding will support stipends paid directly to family caregivers of post-9/11 veterans seriously injured in the line of duty, as well as the national caregiver support line and increased support for caregiver support coordinators.
For summary table of FY 16 funding for key programs prepared by the National Respite Coalition, click here.
Thank The President and Congress
Please take a moment and reach out to your Senators, Representatives and the President to thank them for putting families first in the budget. To contact your House Representative, visit house.gov. To contact your US Senator, visit senate.gov. To contact the President, write, call or email the White House.
Read more about other programs receiving increases in the Senate amendment to H.R. 2029 - Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 [Consolidated Appropriations and Tax Measures]. See Division H for programs in the US Department of Health and Human Services.
More than Fifty National Organizations Endorse Legislation Reauthorizing the Lifespan Respite Care Program
More than fifty diverse national organizations endorsing the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act (HR 3913) and/or the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (HR 1969), which includes provisions to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program, sent letters to Capitol Hill expressing their support.
TheSenate version of the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (S.1085) was recently considered by the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as part of a broader package, the Increasing the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability to Veterans Act of 2015 (S.290). The committee approved the broader package, clearing it for the Senate floor. However, the provision reauthorizing the Lifespan Respite Program through 2020 was dropped due to some members’ concerns about a funding offset. Fortunately, there will still be opportunities to add the Lifespan Respite Program provisions back in when the measure comes to the Senate floor, and as the legislation moves through the House of Representatives. The House version, HR 1969, introduced by Rep. Jim Langevin still includes the Lifespan Respite program reauthorization provisions.
The National Respite Coalition will continue to seek and accept endorsements from national organizations. If your national organization would like to sign onto one or all of these letters, please contact the National Respite Coalition.
Letter from National Organizations Endorsing the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act (HR 3913), click here.
Letter from National Organizations Endorsing the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (HR 1969) to House Original Cosponsor, click here.
December 8, 2015
Senate Passes RAISE Act
On December 8, 2015, the Senate passed the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1719), paving the way for House action. The RAISE Family Caregivers Act, introduced in the Senate by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. The bill specifies actions that government, communities, providers, employers, and others can take, including development of respite options, to recognize and support family caregivers. HR 3099, the bipartisan House companion bill, was introduced by Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL). Read more about the bill.
Lifespan Respite bill introduced on November 3, 2015
In Honor of National Family Caregivers Month and the theme Respite! Care for the Caregiver, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Disability Caucus, introduced the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act (HR 3913) on November 3. The bill would reauthorize the program through 2020 and has an authorization level of $75 million over five years. To access the text of the bill, a summary, and cosponsors as the information becomes available, visit Congress.gov. Now is the time to reach out to your Member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the bill. See alert below for more information.
House and Senate Appropriations Committees approve FY2016 Labor- HHS-Education appropriations bills
In June, both the House and Senate Appropriations committees approved versions of the FY 2016 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bills. The house bill includes $2.36 million for Lifespan Respite (the same as FY 2015) and the Senate bill includes slightly less at $2.26 million. Most other discretionary programs, including the National Family Caregiver Support Program, were level funded. Final funding levels will most likely not be determined until late fall.
May 7, 2015
35 National Organizations send a letter to Congressional Appropriators
Today, through an effort spearheaded by the National Respite Coalition and the Lifespan Respite Task Force, 35 national organizations sent a letter to Congressional appropriators asking for $5.0 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program, the amount included in the President’s FY 2016 budget. We are also seeking support for the National Family Caregiver Support Program ($150 million), the Native American Caregiver Support Program ($6.8 million), and for the new Family Support program ($15 million) proposed by the President.
Follow up with your Senator or House member and urge them to heed these recommendations. The NRC has prepared talking points to help you make the call.
Bipartisan Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act Introduced in House and Senate
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) introduced legislation to assist family caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured veterans. The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (S. 1085; H.R. 1969) would expand upon the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current caregiver services program and reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program. The bill was inspired by a Rand study commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation last year that highlighted the physical, emotional and financial challenges military and veteran caregivers face.
The legislation would: • Make veterans of all eras eligible for caregiver support services • Make the program more inclusive of veterans with mental health injuries • Reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program for five years • Give veterans the opportunity to transfer GI Bill benefits to a dependent, to help unemployed or underemployed spouses of injured veterans prepare to become the primary income earner for the family. • Make caregivers who work in the federal government eligible for flexible work schedules • Provide assistance to family caregivers with childcare, financial advice and legal counseling.
Twenty Members of Congress Send Letter of Support for FY 2016 Lifespan Respite Funding
On March 26, 2015, twenty members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to the Chair and Ranking member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting $5 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program in FY 2016. The President requested this amount for the program in his FY 2016 proposed budget. Since 2009, thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have received Lifespan Respite grants from the Administration for Community Living to improve access to respite services for family caregivers.
Senate Committee Approves Older American Act Reauthorization
The National Respite Coalition applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for making the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act an immediate priority for the 114th Congress. Today the Committee took quick action and unanimously approved S. 192, the bipartisan legislation recently introduced by U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) with Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to extend authorization of the Older Americans Act. This legislation includes reauthorization of Title III-E, the National Family Caregiver Support Program, with a new provision extending eligibility to older parents of adult children with disabilities for family caregiver support services, including respite.
The National Respite Coalition joins other national, state and local organizations in calling for swift action in the Senate followed by timely consideration in the House.
To show your support, contact both your Senators and your Representative in the House and urge them to pass the bill quickly. For contact information, visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
Advocacy Tips and Guidance on Contacting the US Congress
Visits to Legislators' Offices: For Guidance on How to Arrange and Conduct a Personal Visit with a Legislator, see Advocacy Tip Sheet for Face-to-Face Meetings Calling Your Representative or Senator: Making a personal visit or calling is the most effective way to get your message across. Do not underestimate the value of legislative staff. Talking with them may be just as effective as talking with the Member directly. 1. If you don't know who your Representative and Senators are, visit the House and the Senate and enter your zip code in the right hand corner of the website.
2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative's or Senator's office. When connected, ask to speak to the person who works on health or disability issues, usually the Health Legislative Assistant (LA). Leave a voice mail message if you cannot get through directly.
3. Identify yourself as a constituent. Explain the importance of respite to you personally and make your request. Follow the directions on the NRC Legislative Alert for Action and Messages or use talking points to make your case. (Prepare yourself in advance and practice the message).
4. Ask the staff member if his/her boss will support your request. If they do not commit, please ask them to get back to you.