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SD Respite Care - Adult Services and Aging

The DSS Division of Adult Services and Aging offers Respite Care services.

Respite Care provides temporary relief to the primary caregiver from the continuous support and care of an elderly or dependent adult.


Covered services may include companionship, involvement in the individual's activities of daily living, meal preparation, light housekeeping and personal hygiene tasks. Services not covered include skilled nursing services and the administration of medications.

The frequency and hours of Respite Care requested by the primary caregiver and the elderly or dependent adult are a mutually agreed upon arrangement with the provider. Respite Care must be within the range of approved hours as determined by an assessment. Respite Care may not exceed 210 hours per quarter. The daily limit may not exceed 13 hours. Overnight, weekend care, longer vacation times and emergency periods may not exceed the 210 hours per quarter limitation.


An individual may be eligible for Respite Care if the individual meets the following criteria:

      At least 18 years of age.

      The needs assessment and care plan completed by the Adult Services and Aging Social Worker indicates a need for Respite Care.

      The individual has a primary caregiver. Potential recipients of Respite Care should be prioritized according to the threat of being institutionalized and the inability to live independently. (If an individual's health is such that skilled nursing or total care is required, Respite Care may not be appropriate.)

      Resource Limits: The department does not participate in the cost of services if the household's resources exceed $30,000 for a household composed of a single individual or $35,000 for a household composed of a married couple. These limits apply regardless of whether one spouse or both are in need of services.

Cost Sharing

Respite Care services are provided to eligible individuals at no cost if the individual's gross income is 60% or less of the state median income. If the individual's gross income is greater than 60% of the median income, the department charges a co-payment for Respite Care services. The co-payment is based on the individual's income with the co-payment calculated on the cost of the Respite Care services provided. (An approved hourly rate is paid to Respite Care providers based on the assessment and authorized care plan.)

NOTE: Respite Care may be available free of charge to individuals aged 60 and over under the Caregiver Support program. This program is limited by the funds available. Respite Care may also be available free of charge through the DD Respite Care program for those with developmental and other specified disabilities.

The amount of the co-payment is based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and is assessed according to the following schedule:




1 - 100% FPL 

0 percent 

101 - 122% FPL

5 percent 

123 - 144% FPL

10 percent 

145 - 165% FPL

15 percent 

166 - 187% FPL

20 percent 

188 - 209% FPL

30 percent 

210 - 231% FPL

40 percent 

232 - 253% FPL

50 percent 

254 - 275% FPL

60 percent 

276 - 297% FPL

80 percent 

298 - 318% FPL

90 percent 

319% and over

100 percent


NOTE: Gross income for the purpose of calculating co-payments includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and other needs-based and insurance-based income.

Provider and Service Location

The primary caregiver has the responsibility to identify and select the Respite Care provider. This person may be a neighbor, friend or family acquaintance or community resource person that has agreed to provide the care. Respite Care services may be provided in the individual's home, the Respite Care provider's home, or in another type of community setting, such as Adult Day Care, with prior approval from the department.

An individual's spouse, parent, or child may not be a Respite Care provider. Another family member may be a provider if the family member is neither living with the individual nor receiving compensation as the individual's caregiver.

See Also:

Caregiver Support program

The DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities also has a Respite Care Program for caregivers of those who have developmental and other specified disabilities.

Sources: and

Back to:

Division of Adult Services and Aging

South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS)

Welcome and Introduction to the South Dakota Benefits Information System

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