Call to action from the ARCH National Respite Coalition: Urge your Representative to Cosponsor the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act (HR 3913)!
The Lifespan Respite Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 3913) seeks to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program through 2020. The purpose of the Program is to increase the availability and coordination of respite care services to family caregivers of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age. Research indicates family caregivers, including siblings, provide the majority of long-term care and therefore respite serves as a critical service.
Sibling Significance: Respite offers family caregivers a short-term break from the caregiving role in order to stay physically and mentally healthy so that they can in turn provide care to their family members with disabilities. This is particularly relevant for siblings who provide care to their sibling(s) with a disability and their aging parents, whether or not they are formally designated as a 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 of 2015 (HR 3913) last November. The bill would reauthorize the program through 2020 and has an authorization level of $75 million over five years.
The program’s authorization expired in 2011, as did countless other federal discretionary programs. Fortunately, Congress has chosen to continue funding the program. However, a changed political environment could put funding for the program in jeopardy if it remains unauthorized. Timely action is needed!
To access the text of the bill, a summary, and current 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. There will be fewer legislative days in this election year, but we can move the bill this year and ensure continued Congressional funding if we demonstrate broad bipartisan support.
Please call today and circulate this alert to your networks and colleagues – See Legislative Alert for easy steps, message, and talking points.