News & Information > News Releases

August 15, 2011
Melanie Mowry Etters
Communications Director
(850) 488-4257

APD to Create Respite Pool

TALLAHASSEE - After reviewing the use of respite services with stakeholders, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is adjusting how families will access the service. Beginning on September 1, APD will reserve 50 percent of respite service from all cost plans and put the hours into a respite pool. Families will be able to access all respite service hours that were previously approved in the individual’s cost plan, if needed.

The review of respite services showed that families traditionally use about half of their respite hours each year, and keep the other half on their cost plan as a safety net for unexpected emergencies. About $19 million dollars of respite services were not used last fiscal year. After discussions with stakeholders, the idea of creating a respite pool to assist families during emergencies won approval.

Respite services are used when the primary caregiver is unavailable to help the person with a disability due to illness, vacation, or other situations.

Families should contact their waiver support coordinator to learn more about this service adjustment. During the year, the waiver support coordinator will handle requests to access the respite pool. Also, APD has been working to develop free respite resources for families in some areas.

The Florida Legislature has mandated that APD bring its Medicaid waiver expenditures within its appropriation. The Legislature approved $810 million for the Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) waiver for the 2011-12 state fiscal year that began on July 1. APD customers received $930 million worth of services during the 2010-11 fiscal year.

For more information on the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES or visit