VA extends eligibility for caregiver support program to certain vets

SUPPORTCOVER
Eligibility to participate in the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers has been extended to certain veterans and their family caregivers for three years. Photo credit Department of Veterans Affairs

Eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers has been extended through Sept. 30, 2025, for certain veterans and their family caregivers.

Earlier this week the VA submitted an interim final to the Federal Register that will extend program eligibility for legacy participants, legacy applicants and their family caregivers by three years.

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“This extension allows us to continue supporting this cohort of veterans and caregivers, while VA separately conducts program improvement initiatives aimed at ensuring the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers addresses the unique needs of Veterans of all eras and their caregivers,” said VA Caregiver Support Program Executive Director Dr.  Colleen M. Richardson. “Moving forward, we will continue to examine ways to improve this program and make sure it delivers for veterans and their caregivers.”

Originally for post-9/11 veterans and their caregivers, Congress mandated as part of the MISSION Act that the program be expanded to cover Vietnam and earlier-era veterans by late last year.

As part of the program’s expansion, VA was required to reassess the eligibility of current participants as a result of the program’s expansion. That assessment left more than 6,700 ineligible for the program’s monthly stipend, ranging from $1,750 to $3,000 per month.

As a result of that reassessment, VA officials said in March that new criteria may not meet the needs of Post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers. That led VA to halt discharges for all legacy applicants, legacy participants, and their family caregivers based on reassessment.

PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support for family caregivers of eligible veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975, or on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and meet other eligibility criteria.

“We will stop at nothing to make sure veterans and their caregivers get the support they need and deserve, and this extension is a key part of that effort,” said VA Deputy Secretary Donald M. Remy. “As I’ve said before, trust is earned, it’s not given. We hope we can earn the trust of veterans and caregivers through our continued efforts.”

Benefits under the program include education and training, respite care, counseling, technical support, a monthly stipend and access to health care through the VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs and certain travel expenses.

VA is on track to expand PCAFC eligibility to include eligible veterans of all service eras effective Oct. 1, 2022.

More information about this program can be found here. For any questions about caregiver support or the PCAFC, call 855-260-3274. Caregiver Support team information can be found by using the facility locator.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectitngvets.com.