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Legislative Alerts   NewNRC (3)(edited)

Legislative Alerts

November 2015

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  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.

Legislative Alert Seeking Coponsors

Press Release

Summary of program with bill modifications

Bill and Updates at
(you can subscribe to this page for updates)

June 2015

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. 

House Letter
Senate Letter

April 23, 2015
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.

Bill Summary

April 18, 2015

Call your Congressman and Senator to urge funding for Lifespan Respite in FY 2016 funding bill

The National Respite Coalition calls on its members and respite supporters to contact members of Congress to urge funding for the Lifespan Respite Program in FY 2016. With House and Senate budgets poised to cut billions from federal disretionary funding, it is urgent that we alert Congress to the devastating effects of cutting important services and supports, such as respite. Millions of family caregivers who struggle without support to keep their loved ones with disabilities and chronic conditions at home could suffer debilitating physical and mental health effects and be forced to resort to unwanted out-of-home placements.

Funding Alert with Talking Points

March 26, 2015

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.

Final Letter

February 27, 2015

Rep. Langevin circulates Dear Colleague to support $5 million for Lifespan Respite in FY 2016

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) has circulated a Dear Colleague asking Members of Congress to join him by signing a letter to House appropriators asking for $5 million for LIfespan Respite in the FY 2016 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill. Please reach out to your Congressional Represenative and urge them to sign onto this letter. The deadline for Members to sign the letter is March 20, 2015. A quick call to the Member's office is the most effective way for your request to be heard. Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-225-3121.  For additional contact information for your Member of Congress, go to

For alert and talking points, click here.

Dear Colleague Letter

February 2, 2015

President's FY 16 Budget Proposes Increases for Lifespan Respite and Caregiver Support

The President's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget was released today. The plan reverses sequestration cuts and focuses on the needs of the middle class. Increases were proposed for the Lifespan Respite Care Program ($5 million), the National Family Caregiver Support Program ($150 million), and Aging and Disability Resource Centers $20 million). The President also proposes a new Family Support initiatve funded at $15 million to serve all ages. The National Respite Coalition will join forces with national, state and local partners to work toward achieving these increases for the next fiscal year.

Fiscal Year 2016 Administration for Community Living
Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees

See especially pp. 94 - 132 for descriptions of proposed increases to programs for Caregiver and Family Support services and a detailed description of the new proposed Family Support Program.

President's FY 2016 HHS Budget

January 28, 2015

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 and

Press Release

Bill S. 192

December 17, 2014

Final FY15 Federal Funding for Key Respite and Caregiver Support Programs

The President signed the FY15 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 83) into law on December 17, 2015.  Most programs that support respite and family caregiver programs were level funded for the current fiscal year.  

Funding Chart of Key Programs



April 19, 2014

National Respite Coalition Submits Testimony to House and Senate Subcommittee in Support of Lifespan Respite Funding  

In April, the National Respite Coalition submitted outside written testimony to the House and Senate Subcommittees on Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations requesting funding ($2.5 million) for the Lifespan Respite Program in the FY 15 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill.  This is the same level of funding awarded in FY 12 prior to sequestration and slightly more than requested by the President. To view or download the Senate testimony, click here.  Similar testimony was submitted to the House Appropriations Subcommittee.

April 17, 2014

43 National Organizations Sign Letter in Support of FY 15 Funding for Lifespan Respite, National Family Caregiver Support and Family Support

On April 17, 2014, 43 national organizations signed a letter to House and Senate Appropriators in support of FY 15 funding for the Lifespan Respite Program ($2.5 million), the National Family Caregiver Support Program ($154 million), and Family Support in the Developmental Disabilities Act. The House and Senate letters are now available.

House Letter
Senate Letter

April 12, 2014

24 House Members Send Letter in Support of Lifespan Respite Funding

On April 12, 2014, 24 members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations requesting funding for Lifespan Respite Program in FY 2015. To view or download the letter, click here.
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 and enter your zip code.

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.

5.  Say thank you.





Contact Congress 
To contact your US House membervisit here.

To contact your US Senator, visit here.

Legislative Action Center

NewNRC (3)(edited)


Legislative Alert - Seeking Cosponsors for Lifespan Respite Reauthorization bill (HR 3913)

FY 2016 Funding Alert for Lifespan Respite, click here

35 National Organizations Sign Letter to House and Senate appropriators in support of FY 16 funding for Lifespan Respite, National Family Caregiver Support Program, and new ACL proposal for Family Support.
House Letter
Senate Letter

Final Congressional letter in support of Lifespan Respite FY 16 funding signed by 20 House Members, click here.

National Respite Coalition Senate Testimony for the Record in support of FY 2016 Funding for Lifespan Respite Program. 

FY 2016 Dear Colleague Letter for Members' sign ons from Rep. Langevin, click here.
46 National Organizations Send Letter of Support for Lifespan Respite Reauthorization, click here.
NRC/Lifespan Respite Task Force position statement on Lifespan Respite Reauthorization, click here.
National Respite Coalition delivers two official statements to Senate HELP Committee Staff on OAA and Lifespan Respite Reauthorization (signed by 35 national organizations)