VA Caregiver Support – Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Regular Army: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary:

Family Caregivers provide crucial support in caring for our Nation's Veterans by allowing them to stay in the homes and communities they defended, surrounded by the loved ones they fought for. Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care. Additional VA services are now available to those Family Caregivers who share VA's daily charge to serve those who have "borne the battle." The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers helps the Families and Veterans injured post 9-11.

Eligibility:

Support Coordinator, Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers, Home-Based Primary Care (additional eligibility applies), Skilled Home Care (additional eligibility applies), Home Telehealth, Respite Care, and Home Hospice Care.

Additional VA services are available to Family member Caregivers of Veterans who were seriously injured post-9/11. 

Eligibility for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program:

  • Veterans eligible for this program are those who sustained a serious injury - including traumatic brain injury (TBI), 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 of residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
  • Veterans must first be enrolled for VA health services, if not enrolled previously.

Caregiver Eligibility:

The Caregiver must be at least 18 years of age.

  • The Caregiver must be either:
    • The Veteran's spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-family member, or extended family member; or
    • Someone who lives with the Veteran full time.
  • Prior to approval, the Caregiver will be provided with training and must be able to demonstrate the ability to assist the Veteran with personal care functions required in everyday living.

Benefit Highlights:

Services Available to Family Caregivers through Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program

The new program will provide additional assistance to primary Family Caregivers of eligible post 9/11 Veterans and Service members. New 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)

To apply for the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers follow this link to answer preliminary questions and download an application.

Benefits available to Family Caregivers

  • Caregiver Support Line: 1-800-260-3274. The licensed professionals can tell you about assistance available from the VA, help caregivers access services, connect the caregiver to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at the nearest VA Medical Center, or just listen to your needs or concerns.
  • Caregiver Support Coordinator: Local licensed professionals who can support the caregiver by matching up services and provide the caregiver with valuable information. Find local Caregiver Support Coordinators here.
  • Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers: ADHC Centers are safe and active environments with constant supervision designed for Veterans to get out of the home and participate in activities. It is time for the Veteran to socialize and time for the caregiver to spend time for him or herself. ADHC centers are generally open Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
  • Home-Based Primary Care: Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) is a program designed to deliver routine health care services to the home when the Veteran has medical issues that make it challenging for him or her to travel. HBPC staffed medical professionals will come to the home and provide primary care and nursing, managing medication, and helping plan and put together nutritious meals. HBPC can also include physical rehabilitation, mental health care, social work and referrals to VA and community services.
  • Skilled Home Care: Provides a medical professional who helps care for a homebound Veteran. To be eligible for this service, a Veteran must be homebound. Skilled Home Care is similar to HBPC, but it involves the VA purchasing care for a Veteran from a licensed non-VA medical professional.
  • Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program: designed to help a Veteran with personal care needs. A home health aide will come to the home on a regular schedule to allow the caregiver time to take care of his or her own needs.
  • Home Telehealth: designed to give the Caregiver ready access to a care coordinator using technology in the home. Typically this is offered to individuals who live at a distance from a VA Medical Center. Home Telehealth services can also include education and training or online and telephone support groups.
  • Respite Care: Respite is time for relaxing and renewing your own energy. A Caregiver is eligible for up to 30 days of respite care per year. The care can be offered in a variety of settings including at 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.
  • Home Hospice Care: During the advanced stages of a terminal disease, Home Hospice Care can offer comfort and supportive services for Caregivers and the Veteran. An interdisciplinary team of health care providers and volunteers from a local community hospice agency provide the services during this time. Bereavement care is also available for Caregivers and other immediate Family members.

Document Review Date: 7 March 2013