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What is respite?

The purpose of respite is to provide a planned break for your regular informal carer from their normal (unpaid) carer duties.

Informal carer

An informal carer is not paid for providing care. This could be a family member or friend.

Formal carer

A formal carer is someone who receives payment for providing care. This could be a personal assistant (PA) or home care provider.

Respite can be:

  • a short stay in a privately owned residential care home
  • care provided in your own home, while your usual carer is away (e.g. on holiday or in hospital)

It may also be possible to use your respite direct payment to fund your care or support (normally provided by your informal carer) while you are on holiday without your informal carer.

If you are only employing a PA to provide respite cover, you will need to be refeered to the direct payment support service provider to ensure your PA is employed correctly.

If you already employ a PA to provide regular care and they agree to provide the extra hours, this will not necessary.



What it should not be used to pay for

You cannot use it for:

  • holidays for you and your informal carer, e.g. you and your partner. If your informal carer does accompany you, we would expect there to also be an alternative formal carer to ensure that your usual carer is getting a break from their normal caring role
  • general holiday expenses, such as the hire of a caravan, hotel costs, travel or meals. These must be funded privately



Your financially assessed contribution (weekly)

If you receive a weekly care package

If your package is funded by us and you are already paying a contribution towards this care, then you will not have to pay a further contribution towards your respite care.

If you do not receive a weekly care package

If you package is not funded by us, you will be financially assessed, and notified of how much you are required to contribute towards your care.

You will receive a letter stating how much your respite payment will be, and invoiced separately for your contribution (if applicable).

If your contribution and the payment you receive from us is not enough to cover the cost of your respite break(s) you will need to 'top up' your respite payment privately.



Record keeping

You should record the amount you have received along with your own contribution. When you purchase your respite you should deduct the amount you’ve spent from your original balance. This way you will always know how much you have left.

 Please note

You should keep a copy of all of your related bank statements, invoices, wage slips, receipts etc. for 7 years.



What respite period would I be paid for?

Your practitioner will discuss and agree with you how and when you should use your respite.

You may receive funding that covers more than one respite stay to take during the year. It may be that you receive individual payments for each respite stay.

If you’ve received your full respite entitlement for the year, it is your responsibility to budget accordingly. Further payments or other respite arrangements will not be made.

You should not use your respite payment to fund any other care.

If you don’t use all of your respite entitlement, it should be returned to the Direct Payment team.

 Please note

Respite is not paid automatically every year. You should contact your practitioner or Staffordshire Cares to request this payment as and when required (subject to eligibility).


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