Help for Caregivers of Veterans and Post-9/11 Rescuers
Caring for the caregiver: new stipends for caregivers of veterans, some 9/11 rescuers
The Saint Cloud Times is reporting that the VA is instituting new services – and funds – to help caregivers of veterans. Also, caregivers of veterans who were severely injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, may be eligible for additional VA services, including a stipend and comprehensive caregiver training.
The VA has a comprehensive website to assist those family members who are taking care of their veterans at home. There are programs in place to help the primary and even secondary caregivers. The Post-9/11 assistance is fairly new to the VA offerings and includes these programs:
Who Is Eligible?
- Veterans eligible for this program are those who sustained a serious injury – including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder – incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001.
- Veterans eligible for this program must also be in need of personal care services because of an inability to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
- To be eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, Veterans must first be enrolled for VA health services, if not enrolled previously.
Services Available to Family Caregivers through this Program
The law will provide additional assistance to primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Service members. Services for this group include:
- Monthly stipend
- Travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying Veterans undergoing care)
- Access to health care insurance (if the Caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)
- Mental health services and counseling
- Comprehensive VA Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals
- Respite care (not less than 30 days per year)
If you think you fit the criteria for these services, please follow the link to answer some preliminary questions and download an application.
The application enables Veterans to designate one primary Family Caregiver and up to two secondary Family Caregivers, if desired. Caregiver Support Coordinators are available at every VA Medical Center to assist Veterans and their Family Caregivers with the application process. To find your Caregiver Support Coordinator, visit the Help Near Home page. Additional application assistance is available at 1-877-222 VETS (8387).
A free downloadable booklet for caregivers to take care of themselves – with nutrition, exercise and other advice — is available at http://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/Caregiver_Workbook_V3_Module_1.pdf
If a Veteran requires a Caregiver, you are eligible to receive up to 30 days of respite care per year. The care can be offered in a variety of settings including at your home or through temporary placement of a Veteran at a VA Community Living Center, a VA-contracted Community Residential Care Facility, or an Adult Day Health Care Center. Respite care may also be provided in response to a Family Caregiver’s unexpected hospitalization, a need to go out of town, or a family emergency.
The VA has established a toll-free caregiver support line at 855-260-3274.