What is Caregiver Compensation?
Caregiver compensation is a temporary service option given during the COVID-19 pandemic. This option is an effort to keep families in DSPD services safely at home, where they can continue to get support. Funded by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, these services were originally meant to end in December 2020. However, because of additional funding through the American Rescue Plant Act (ARPA), it has now been extended to June 2023. Families on the waitlist have been contacted to receive 1-time services with this allocated funding. Because of the funding provided through the CARES act and our advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session, there was movement on the waitlist for the first time in 4 years! If this is made permanent, even more families could get off the waitlist and into services!
What are the Current Benefits?
Parents, spouses, and guardians of an individual in DSPD services are all considered caregivers.
- A caregiver can be paid up to 40 hours per week to provide direct care to their loved one.
- Or 1 time respite care: provided by a trained person that temporarily relieves parents or caregivers from the everyday responsibilities in providing care to the individual with a disability. It can be provided in your home, the home of the respite provider, or a specialized facility depending on the needs and preferences of the family and/or individual.
Keep in mind that both Caregiver Compensation and respite services use DSPD’s Self-Administered Services (SAS) model which includes working with a fiscal agent to manage payroll, help with budgeting, and complete paperwork. When choosing respite services, a family member acts as the employer of the record and is responsible for hiring and training respite staff.
How Do We Make This a Permanent Service?
Talk to your legislators!! Sending emails and texts only takes 10-15 minutes! It’s only going to take 3-4 times between now and March. Not sure what to say? Consider joining this FaceBook group for support from caregivers like you. While involved, keep an eye out for a coalition of parents working together to make this a permanent option for families. This group is also working on language you can use in your emails so that your voice is loud and clear.
For more information on Caregiver Compensation: https://dspd.utah.gov/wlcares/
Find your legislators: https://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp
Utah DSPD Support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/370805076668698
DSPD Self-advocate and family quarterly meeting, morning session, 8.10.2022: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkSD0As9CTQ
Find out what issues will be discussed in the upcoming legislative session by involving advocacy groups such as the LCPD, UDDC, and DLC. Working together on disability issues will make us all stronger. This is a great way to stay up to date with legislative happenings. Also, don’t forget to vote during an election year!