Eligibility Requirements

Families are eligible for NAMI Maine  FamilyRespite Services if they have a child who is birth up to seventeen years of age and has documentation of significant delays (6 months or greater) in two or more areas of development, or a documented emotional and/or behavioral disability, and is not eligible for respite services (such as foster care) through another agency.

The process of determining eligibility includes the completion of a NAMI Maine family application and income information. Current documentation of special need is necessary in the form of a doctor's evaluation, a developmental evaluation from a developmental clinic, an assessment from a qualified professional (LCSW, LCPC, PhD, MD, or pediatric neurologist) in the area of developmental assessments. An evaluation is considered current if it is no more than (1) one-year old. Eligibility is reviewed at (3) three-year intervals unless waived by the NAMI Maine  Program Director.

Children who are less than 6 months old can be determined temporarily eligible if there is evidence of significant delay. Similarly, children with conditions that are known to have a reasonable probability of resulting in substantial delays may also be found temporarily eligible. In both instances re-determination of eligibility will be required at age two. The NAMI Maine Family Respite Program Director makes a determination of eligibility and a letter of acceptance is sent to the family. This letter will state the allocation of hours for the fiscal year.  Waiting list status will also be addressed with the family, if necessary.

The NAMI Maine Family Respite Program determines family eligibility based on guidelines established by DHHS

The NAMI Maine Family Respite Program operates on the State's fiscal year, which begins July 1st of each year and ends on June 30th of each year. If a family uses their entire allotment prior to June 30th, no new respite is available until July 1st. Hours are divided quarterly with up to 48 hours being available every three months. Families are notified in writing prior to the start of each fiscal year regarding the number of hours available to them and about any changes to the NAMI Maine Family Respite program. Families are re-approved for NAMI Maine Family Respite from year to year based on a child's continuing special needs and available funding. It is not necessary to complete a new application yearly. Updated Fee Determination Forms will be required each year.

As mentioned previously, the NAMI Maine Family Respite Program divides the fiscal year into quarters (three months). The start and end of each quarter is given below:

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

July 1st - Sept.30th

Oct. 1st - Dec. 31st

Jan. 1st -  Mar. 31st

Apr. 1st - June 30th

Beginning July 1, 2004 the Respite Program was required to implement a co-pay system based on a sliding fee scale. Each family eligible for NAMI Maine Family Respite must complete a Fee Determination Worksheet which is used to determine the amount of co-pay (a percentage of the total allocation a family qualifies for). Families should contact the NAMI Maine office about when co-pays are due.


Funding for this program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services