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Caregiver programs, services for veterans

Caregiver programs, services for veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has long supported family caregivers as vital partners in providing care worthy of the sacrifices by America's veterans and servicemembers. Each VA medical center has a caregiver support coordinator (CSC) who provides caregiver activities and serves as a resource expert for veterans, their families and VA providers. Several programs available for veteran caregivers include:

In-home and community-based care. Skilled home health care, homemaker/home health-aide services, community adult day health care and home-based primary care.

Respite care. Designed to relieve the family caregiver from the constant burden of caring for a chronically ill or disabled veteran at home. Services can include in-home care, a short stay in an institutional setting or adult day health care.

Caregiver education and training programs. VA currently provides multiple training opportunities that include pre-discharge care instruction and specialized caregiver programs for multiple severe traumas such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury/disorders and blind rehabilitation. VA's caregiver web site, www.caregiver.va.gov, provides tools, resources and information to family caregivers.

Family support services. These support groups can be conducted face-to-face or via telephone. They include family counseling, spiritual and pastoral care, family leisure and recreational activities, and temporary lodging in Fisher Houses.

Travel. VA's Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers program entitles the designated caregiver to beneficiary travel benefits. These benefits include

  • Transportation, lodging and subsistence for period of caregiver training.

  • Transportation, lodging and subsistence while traveling as a veteran's attendant to and from VA health-care facilities, as well as for the duration of care at VA or VA- authorized facilities.

  • Mileage or common carrier transport.

  • Lodging and/or subsistence at 50 percent of local federal employee rates.

Other benefits. VA provides durable medical equipment and prosthetic and sensory aides to improve function and financial assistance with home modification to improve access and mobility, and transportation assistance for some veterans to and from medical appointments.

On May 5, 2010, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 was signed into law. Title I of the act allows VA to provide unprecedented benefits to eligible caregivers (a parent, spouse, child, step-family member, extended family member or an individual who lives with the veteran but is not a family member). The law includes provisions that help provide support for the caregivers of seriously injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

New services provided by the law include:

  • Monthly stipend based on the personal care needs of the veteran.

  • Travel expenses, including lodging and per-diem while accompanying veterans undergoing care.

  • Access to health-care insurance through Civilian Health and Medical Program of VA if the caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health plan.

  • Mental health services and counseling.

  • Comprehensive VA caregiver training.

  • Respite care.

  • Appropriate care-giving instruction and training.

(Courtesy Military.com)

More in Veterans Benefits Center

 

john_wayne893

June 11, 2014 - 4:20am

my wife is my ever faithful loving caregiver but here in the Philippines v.a. there is no caregiver program. actually the manila v.a. is a total waste of tax payer dollars as they do not attend to the disabled veterans!

KimberlyRorick-Lewis

June 9, 2014 - 1:08am

My husband is a retired/disabled Navy and Army National Guard veteran. He has served in the military for over 23 years. He was deployed to Iraq and fought as a combat soldier for a year. After his return and subsequent retirement he was diagnosed with PTSD. his level of disability is 100% permanent and total. I am his primary caregiver and work through the family caregiver program at the VA hospital. My husbands level of disability has never and will never change and neither will the level of care I provide. So would someone please explain to me how the program has recently reduced my monthly stipend by 60%.!?!?

Jeanette Massucco

May 15, 2014 - 10:23am

Hi. My husband did 4 yrs in air force then was on call for 5 yrs reserve 1951-1959 altogether. Thank God was never injured. Don attended Hospital in Florida they accepted out insurance medicare * private. We moved to new Hampshire he attended veterans hospital a few visits they took his insurance,But the we received Bill for $800.00 Then they tell us they don't take medicare or our insurance from the state of mass . We has to pay ! They told him accepting medicare our insurance was like them paying themselves...He went before a board they cut it in Half we paid $400.00 How come one place accepted Insurance the other did not.? Now my question Does this mean they never accept seniors with Medicare u pay out of pocket or you don't go to veterans .Seems very unfair is this the way it works?

Mrs. C

April 25, 2014 - 5:13pm

You should contact your congressman/woman. Our congressman got more done for my husband in 3 weeks than we were able to accomplish in 3 years. Also, there are VA claims attorneys now who will advocate for you. Most of them ask for no money up-front. Good luck to all of you, and DON'T GIVE UP!

Ned Cline

April 24, 2014 - 5:28pm

I was denied my claim the first I applied; however after reading their denial letter I discovered that want they wanted was stated in the letter. I followed the letter to the t and was approved. Don't give up.

John Junkins

April 24, 2014 - 3:56pm

The VA Claims approach to processing Claims is to look for reasons to deny a Claim instead of reasons to approve a Claim. They need some disabled US Marines processing Claims instead of beauracracy civilians. Only 1% of Americans serve in a Branch of Military Service, and yet there are about 52% of non-veterans processing claims.

Lannell Truss

April 24, 2014 - 1:01am

I have Presumptive "Gulf War" Illnesses that are eligible for CRSC. Why do I keep getting denied if my Presumptive Illnesses are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Hypothyroidism, Major Depressive Disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, etc. Location of deployment was in Kuwait which is an eligible for CRSC? I keep getting denied. Why? I am loss with words right now!

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