Information and Updates

new-contact-block3January 2016: In the beginning . . . there was a wonderfully simple program (poorly) named respite. The pay rate was/is nominal, but it gave/gives value to respite workers’ time. Unfortunately, our elected officials passed well intentioned, but costly and detrimental laws, rules and regulations, without funding, that now encompass respite and other DDS programs. It is our hope that everyone will work to keep the program viable. Tri-Counties Regional Center: TCRC is the local Regional Center that creates respite authorizations. The eligible family member’s/client’s TCRC Service Coordinator should be contacted if your family’s respite needs change. Hour usage: As a vendor with TCRC it is our responsibility to manage usage within program parameters. This is why we encourage using the hours allotted each month to simplify tracking. Unused hours can be accumulated, but hours cannot be “borrowed” from future months. Tracking hours: Using a calendar to mark the dates and times respite is used can help ensure the correct number of hours are used in a month. If a balance is needed Respite, Inc. staff can provide it up to the most recent timesheet processed. Unless otherwise requested, your worker(s) will be told an hour balance for the client he/she is designated to provide services for. This will help him or her avoid submitting for unauthorized respite hours that are actually private childcare time. UCI number: It is imperative that your family member’s Unique Client Identifier number (from TCRC) be included on any correspondence/timesheets. Effective July 1, 2016 timesheets without the correct UCI may not be processed in time for the next payday. The UCI can be provided by Respite, Inc. EOR Respite: This is the type of respite authorization created by TCRC for those client families who have their own person to designate as a respite worker. Respite, Inc. becomes the Employer of Record, managing payroll and governmental requirements for those people you hire. Designating a respite worker: Newly authorized families are mailed an EOR packet containing all the forms necessary to sign up a person of their choosing. The original Waiver and W-4 must be received, with a first timesheet, in order to enter the new worker into the payroll system. Established families must also submit the same forms whenever they hire/designate a new respite worker. Respite can stay a viable program in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties if we all work together toward that common goal. Respite, Inc. remains dedicated to providing the services you need while keeping respite as stress-free as possible, within the limitations being imposed. ~ Thank you for your support ~ PS: Politicians don’t understand respite or other Dept. of Developmental Services programs. Promises of increased funding have been retracted. Programs have closed. Protest marches have included hundreds of participants. Hold your elected representatives accountable for their shortsighted voting record.

1/10/15: Designated Respite Workers will be receiving update forms soon. To remain Active in payroll, the form must be completed and returned by the end of March. New payroll schedules will be included with the mailing.

In 2015, paydays will change to every other Friday, with timesheets due no later than 5:00pm on the Tuesday before that Friday payday. Pay periods will be Sunday – Saturday. The payroll schedule is posted .

Respite Workers will receive a rate increase beginning January 1 for 2015 service dates. Most overtime exemptions remains, so there are no daily hour limitations. However, hours cannot exceed forty (40) in a seven day work week/pay period.

7/1/14:  Fiscal Year 2014-2015 begins and the “new year” also brings a few policy changes. The following was mailed to families with respite authorizations:

– Using the number of hours authorized each month creates continuity for the family, client and respite worker. Up to three months of hours may be used in a quarter. If all three months are submitted at the same time, they cannot all be for the first month of the quarter. If submitted this way, only one month of hours will be paid to the worker each calendar month. This is because we can’t predict when an authorization will be canceled or changed by TCRC and it happens often, without any notice.

– Since a parent or guardian hires their own Designated Respite Worker, manages that person’s service hours and determines the identification provided allows that individual to legally work in the United States, it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to complete and retain a USCIS Form I-9 for every person hired/designated per Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regulations. A blank I-9 form, list of acceptable documents and an example are enclosed. A fillable version (pages 7 and 8) and all seven pages of instructions can also be found online at:

– In order to insure we match paperwork/timesheets to the correct client, we ask that you include the TCRC Unique Client [Consumer] Identifier (seven number UCI) on forms where indicated. The UCI is on most TCRC documents, however, we can provide it upon request.

We wish all of these changes weren’t necessary. Unfortunately, federal and state mandates keep affecting respite and other regional center services and we must find ways to comply. Your continued understanding and cooperation are sincerely appreciated.

3/27/14: The California Department of Education (CDE) Special Education Division (SED) is working with school districts and California Parent Organizations to gather information on how well parents think their child’s school is partnering with parents of students with disabilities. Through use of a survey tool adapted from the National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring, CDE-SED will gain valuable insight from parents on their perceptions related to parent involvement. Local Education Agencies and California Parent Organizations will have access to parent response data by region. This information will be helpful in determining potential content for parent/professional training.

Parents/Guardians: survey


2/21/14Since a parent or guardian hires their own Designated Respite Worker, manages that person’s service hours and determines the identification provided allows that individual to legally work in the United States, the parent/guardian is the employer. Respite, Inc. is the third party payor, handling program mandates and payroll services.  It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to complete and retain an I-9 for every person hired/designated per Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regulations.

Due to the sensitivity of the information, I-9s that have already been sent to Respite, Inc. will be securely disposed of/shredded. Because of the confusion surrounding I-9s, a blank set of instructions and forms will be mailed to every family we have on record in June 2014, to coincide with the new fiscal year. We cannot assist in the completion of Sections 1 or 2. 

A fillable version (pages 7 of 9 and 8 of 9) and all seven pages of instructions can also be found online at:

The Handbook for Employers (Guidance for Completing Form I-9) can be found at:

Into 2014 letter mailed to families: In 2013 more than 1200 families utilized services through Respite, Inc. We greatly appreciate everyone’s confidence and adaptability to the mandates and limitations placed on us by various legislative initiatives. 

Minimum wage. This will not affect Respite, Inc. workers, as the new minimum wage will be $11/hour in 2015. Our minimum pay rate is already $10.50 an hour. Unfortunately, the state reimbursement rate may never go up, so a pay increase is very unlikely.

General reminders:

  • The 2014 payroll schedule is enclosed
  • Each timesheet must be fully completed. Please see the instructions its reverse side
  • Payment for dates older than 45 days will be delayed by at least two paydays
  • Timesheets can be faxed anytime before the noon pre-payday Monday deadline
  • Respite authorizations are set up for three months of hours in a quarter
  • A mileage authorization must be in place for mileage to be paid.

As we enter the New Year we will continue to provide the exemplary service and support we hope is synonymous with Respite, Inc. Together we can make this program work, for you.

July 2013: Authorizations are written by TCRC as not to exceed three months worth of hours in a quarter. This means if you have 16 hours per month you will be able to use up to 48 in a quarter, 24 per month would be 72 in a quarter, etc. We’ve always encouraged families to use the number of hours allotted each month and to turn in timesheets within 30 days of service. Contact us if you have questions about usage or balances.
Reminder: for those people who fax in timesheets, please don’t wait until the last few minutes before the noon deadline on the Monday before a payday. This avoids a last minute crunch and a busy signal when trying to fax. Sending/faxing timesheets as soon after the last date of service (up to midnight the Friday before payday) insures timely receipt and payment.

March 2012 – The state budget remains a serious concern to everyone within the Regional Center system. The DDS stakeholder meeting on March 1st was informative, but few, if any, new cost savings strategies were discussed. Respite services were targeted in 2009, with a rate decrease, usage caps, quarter maximums and more. During the meeting’s afternoon session an email was received that the Legislative Analyst’s Office had released its recommendations. Retaining the 4.25% rate decrease was at the top of the list.  DDS will present its suggestions to the Legislature for the 2012/2013 toward the end of March. An actual plan will be determined in late April. No major program changes are expected.

12/1/2010 – Every year brings change and 2010 was no different. The State budget that was finally passed in October brought retroactive cuts to regional center programs, including respite. Hour limitations and quarterly maximums remain in place. At this time Respite, Inc. does not expect to decrease wages.

In 2011 we will be changing payroll companies. A smooth transition is planned, but there could be some bumps along the way. Many employee numbers will be changed. We have been assured that checks will arrive at the office earlier on paydays and direct deposits will show funds in an account the same day, instead of being held another 24 hours.

Due to the constraints on usage, less income for the program and TCRC’s funding methods, it will no longer be possible to immediately pay for hours that are submitted more than 45 days after providing service. These hours will still be paid (under standard usage and authorization policies), but will be delayed until the third payday after receipt of the timesheet(s). We encourage everyone to send in timesheets each month to avoid any difficulty this modification could cause. The maximum hours paid in one pay period remains at 50, with any balance to be paid incrementally.

11/30/09 – The Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo Respite, Inc. offices will be closing in December. Santa Barbara: noon Wednesday, December 23rd. Santa Maria: Friday, December 18th. San Luis Obispo: Thursday, December 31st. All services will be provided through the Paso Robles office. We will review the feasability of reopening satellite offices toward the end of this fiscal year.

7/28/09 – With the passage of the revised 2009/2010 California state budget today came new regulations for Regional Centers and the services they will be allowed to approve and fund. The amount and circumstances under which respite services may be purchased has changed.

New Criteria for Respite

These changes are to become effective August 1, 2009, or after 30 day* notice is given by the Regional Centers (*being recommended by DDS). TCRC has set October 1, 2009 as the effective date to implement these changes.

1.   Respite hours will only be authorized when the client requires more care and supervision than an individual of the same age without a developmental disability.

2.   In-home respite will be limited to 90 hours per quarter (30 hours per month). An exception may be granted under the following circumstances.

a)   The intensity of the client’s care and supervision needs are such that additional respite is necessary to keep the client living at home.

b)   There is an extraordinary event that impacts the family member’s ability to meet the care and supervision needs of the client.

3.   Regional Centers cannot purchase day care services to replace respite.
Upon receiving a 30 day notification from your Regional Center, determine if your family should qualify for an exemption. Document how a) and/or b) above apply to your situation, thencontact your Service Coordinator. A request for an exemption should be considered by an IPP team.

Early Start (newborn to age 3) Services

Regional Centers are no longer allowed to fund services that are not considered federally mandated. Respite services are considered federally mandated only if its use is related to a client’s developmental disability (to attend classes, trainings, etc.). Families of “at risk” or developmentally disabled infant(s) and/or toddler(s) may no longer qualify for respite services when the respite need is not related to the developmental disability.
If your Regional Center wants to change your services, it must hold an IFSP meeting. If you do not agree with their changes to your child’s services at the IFSP meeting, your Regional Center must give you a 30 day written notice of its decision before the change can become effective. If you request a hearing during those 30 days it must be completed within 60 days. Your child will continue to receive the disputed service(s) during that time.
6/1/09 – The state is still facing the worst budget crisis in its history. Deficit projections are at the $24 billion dollar level and the additional 7% funding cut is expected to be instituted in September. This will mean another pay rate cut for workers, but the exact amount is yet to be determined, depending on how the state calculates the decrease.

5/4/09 – With all the funding rumors swirling around, it may become necessary to limit the number of hours used each month to the number authorized starting with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2009. Since workers are paid in advance of our reimburement, we do not have a way of maintaining a large enough reserve to continue paying a substantial numbers of hours.

2/23/09 – The 3% cut to Regional Center services, including respite, was part of the revised state budget and is retroactive to February 1, 2009. This means an across the board cut of $0.25 per hour and mileage reimbursement will change to $0.49 for all respite workers. These new rates will be reflected in the March 4th paychecks.

2/2/09 – It’s doubtful respite services will go unscathed in the current budget discussions. At best, we’re expecting a 3% cut to our cost rate. Unfortunately, this will mean a twenty-five cent per hour rate decrease for respite workers. That means the lowest pay rate would still be $9.75/hour. Because no decisions have been made in Sacramento at present, pay rates will remain the same for the time being. Updated information will be included on this webpage as received.

The 2009 Changes and Reminders letter, payroll schedule and new timesheets were mailed to all active respite workers on January 3rd. Paydays are every other Wednesday, with timesheets due by noon the Monday before. Unfortunately, payroll takes time and there just isn’t enough after the Monday noon deadline to include more. To avoid a delay in processing forms and timesheets, please use the Respite, Inc. office nearest you. Paperwork, including timesheets, can be delivered or faxed to any office during or outside of business hours, including holidays and weekends.