Vet's Post

VA Caregiver Program Returns

Freddy Groves, September 2017
Posted

The Department of Veterans Affairs caregiver program is back. That should be great news to people who were left in limbo after the VA pulled the plug on thousands of caregivers earlier this year while it considered how to revamp the program.

The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers gives aid to eligible veterans who were severely injured on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and who need personal care for daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, or who need supervision or protection because of impairment. Care must be required for a minimum six months; tasks such as lifting, transportation and emotional support aren’t included. The stipend paid to the caregiver is based on how many hours of help per month the veteran needs, as determined by the tier level (high, medium or low) after a clinical evaluation.

Often it’s a primary family member who is the caregiver. To meet the requirements, they need to be the spouse, child or parent and live with the veteran. Another level, secondary family caregiver, has slightly different requirements and duties. These often serve as backup support. Both must fill out an application, VA Form 10-10CG. All caregivers have support coordinators to help them in giving the best care they can, accessing benefits and services, and learning more about assistance that’s available.

For more information, go online to the redesigned caregiver website: www.caregiver.va.gov. You’ll find links to determine eligibility and specifics about how the program works, as well as the application to download. Put your ZIP code in to find local caregiver advocates, or call the caregiver support line at 1-855-260-3274. If you ever need to file an appeal, contact the caregiver support coordinator or the patient advocate at the closest VA medical center.

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