If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please call 911. 

Contact Us Below:

*Further eligibility requirements will be discussed with IRC staff during intake.

The Fundamentals of Emergency Support

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90LRLI0046, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.


Toll-Free Statewide Respite Phone: 866-ILL-RESP or    866-455-7377 ext. 101 or ext. 103 for Spanish-speakers

Fax:  (224) 616-3054

If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

The IRC has Emergency Respite funding stipends for caregivers across Illinois in a planned or unplanned emergency. This program provides funding so caregivers can pay for services they choose. The IRC supplies funding for emergencies, we do not provide programming designed for emergency situations.

 Emergency Respite Care program stipend helps to cover the cost of respite for the caregiver's loved one. The ERC program is for families not receiving state or waiver funding.

Please contact our Statewide Respite Coordinator with any questions or if you would like additional information. 

Phone: 866-455-7377 ext. 101 or 103 for Spanish

The IRC will respond to respite requests within 24-48 hours Mon-Fri. We are NOT open 24/7. 

Any person experiencing an emergency should call 911 first and can then reach out to the IRC to get information about eligibility for the ERC Program. Caregivers will be required to fill out an application before a funding determination will be made.

Please note that this program provides caregivers with a voucher stipend up to $500 to assist caregivers in paying for emergency support. In addition, through the ERC Program, we provide referral to link caregivers with other programming options that can potentially provide longer-term and more sustainable support to prevent future crisis situations.

“I had no other help and no way to afford it.  My daughter was diagnosed with Autism, global communication disorder, and food refusal at three years old.  I am very limited on who can watch her and even more limited on who would be willing… The IRC gave me a long overdue break and I can’t explain with words how much it helped me.  I felt so isolated and overstressed and the respite the IRC provided was a lifesaver.” – Caregiver in East Alton, IL

​​“The Illinois Respite Coalition helped my family greatly during our recent pregnancy by providing Emergency Respite funding to allow a trained respite worker to come into our home and help take care of our daughter who has significant disabilities.  This has been a huge relief to our family.  Caring for my daughter has become very physically challenging for me during the pregnancy, but the Emergency Respite funding has allowed my husband to continue working all the while ensuring our daughter’s care and safety needs are met.” – Caregiver in Champaign, IL

Updated November 2023 by the Illinois Respite Coalition


Located Statewide

Situations that may qualify for the  Emergency Respite Program include, but are not limited to the following circumstances*:

  • Caregiver illness (physical, mental, and/or emotional)
  • Caregiver hospitalization or doctor appointments
  • Illness of a loved one
  • Funeral or wake
  • Drug or alcohol abuse counseling or support
  • Care recipient transitions (i.e. living arrangements)
  • Loss of employment or work related situations
  • ​Declining Mental Health

What is the Emergency Respite Care (ERC) Program?

The Emergency Respite Care Program offers funding to support caregivers of children and adults with special needs across the state and lifespan. This program is made possible thanks to funding from the Administration for Community Living through their lifespan respite care program state program enhancement grant. The IRC is able to use this funding in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities.

If you have any questions on Emergency Respite or would like to apply for Emergency Respite Care funding, please contact our statewide coordinator for questions and information:

(866) ILL-RESP or   (866)455.7377 ext. 101 or ext. 103 for Spanish-speakers


Or fill out the contact form below.