General FAQs

Respite care, whether on a planned or emergency basis, is taking a short break from caregiving duties, and it allows the caregiver an opportunity to rest, refresh, and recharge. Respite care can occur in the caregivers or care recipient's home or a facility-based environment.

Yes! Respite care has many benefits for the primary caregiver and care recipient. It is critical for primary caregivers' mental and physical health to get a break. Here are some examples of the benefits:

  • increase social engagement and decrease isolation
  • promote relaxation
  • provide assistance and support
  • prevent bad habits
  • boost social, emotional, and physical health
  • reduce friction between the primary caregiver and the care recipient
  • allows the primary caregiver to have a sense of identity

Do you routinely manage the basic needs of a child, adult, or senior citizen living with special needs or memory loss? Are you responsible for assisting with one bathing/showering? Meal Prep? Medication management? Assistance with incontinence? Ambulation? Functional transfers? Oversight for the care recipient's safety? Then, yes! You are a caregiver!

Federal programs (like Medicaid and Medicare) managed at the state level have complex rules and eligibility requirements. Laws and regulations vary by state and often by county. To get the best guidance possible, contact your County Human Services Agency or local Aging and Disability Resource Center.
Find Your Aging and Disability Resource Center
Find Your County Human Services Agency

No, RCAW is a statewide organization that connects primary caregivers to respite care providers with resources, referrals, grants, training, and the Wisconsin Respite Care Registry. We do not provide direct services.

YES! Respite care can allow you to step away, even for just a few hours. It is not uncommon for primary caregivers to feel overwhelmed and can be used to help support and stabilize the family dynamic.

Regardless of age, ranging from birth to end of life.

Call us at 608-222-2033 or email. We will help you identify options available in your community.

When you devote so much love and energy to caregiving, it may be difficult to entrust your family member's care to strangers. Whether you engage a Respite Care Worker directly or work through an agency, you can diminish your fears by conducting some basic research. Check out our free online training course called "How To Hire A Respite Care Worker." Or find hiring tips under our Find Respite Care tab.

Because your case may be unique, you should discuss these questions with your tax or legal counsel.

Below is some general, overall guidance, but you are responsible for confirming what you need to do in your particular situation:

Worker's Comp: Because the payment to the person or Guardian of the recipient is a reimbursement, the worker's comp is not required.

Form 1099: Is issued for an Independent Contractor(s)/Sole Proprietor(s) receiving over $600 for services in a given year. Under RCAW's Caregiver Respite Grant Program, the payment (reimbursement) will not be paid directly to the Respite Care Worker or Provider/Agency, but to the respite recipient (caregiver who received respite). The respite recipient (caregiver) may provide 1099 to the Respite Care Worker or Provider/Agency. However, the person receiving payment for their respite services should be completing one when they complete their taxes. RCAW's Respite Care Grant Program does not need to process 1099's. Whether or not to complete a 1099 form is between the respite care recipient (caregiver) and the Respite Care Worker or Provider/Agency.


If you answer YES to any of the statements, you are eligible for the CRGP.

  1. You’ve applied for Long-term Care Waiver support and are not expecting to receive services or approval within thirty (30) days of the application.
  2. You’ve applied for and been denied Long-term Care Waiver support that provides respite services.
  3. You’ve applied for and been approved for Long- Term Care Waiver support that provides respite services and have exhausted or will exhaust funding from those programs.
  4. You’ve applied for Long-Term Care Waiver support and need the flexibility to hire a friend or family member that is not covered by current funding support.
  5. You have not applied for Long-Term Care Waiver support, because you are not eligible.

No! Applicants may hire family, friends, respite agency providers, neighbors. RCAW does not dictate who the primary caregiver hires to provide respite care.

Applicants can reapply every 90 days.

Data from 2018 – October 2022

Number of individuals who've successfully completed the Respite Care Provider Training course
Number of respite care providers currently listed on the Wisconsin Respite Care Registry
Total dollars we’ve provided family caregivers to receive respite care through the Caregiver Respite Grant Program
Number of respite hours provided to family caregivers who've applied for the Caregiver Respite Grant Program