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 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 on or after September 11, 2011.

Eligibility

Support Coordinator, Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers, Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) (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 on or after September 11, 2011.

Veteran eligibility for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program:

  1. The Veteran incurred or aggravated a serious injury (including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other mental disorder) in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001.

  2. Because of the qualifying serious injury, the Veteran requires another person (a Caregiver) to assist the Veteran with the management of personal care functions required in everyday living.

  3. The serious injury renders the Veteran in need of personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on a clinical determination that takes into account various factors.

  4. It is in the best interest of the Veteran to participate in the Caregiver Support Program.

  5. The Veteran will receive ongoing care from a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) or other VA health care team as a requirement for participation in the program.

  6. The Veteran agrees to receive ongoing care at home after VA designates a Family Caregiver.

  7. Personal care services that would be provided by the Caregiver will not simultaneously be provided through another individual or entity.

Caregiver Eligibility :

The Caregiver must be at least 18 years of age.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

Asking for help isn't always easy - especially if you're not exactly sure what kind of support would be the best fit for your needs. Learn more about how VA's trained professionals can help you find the services and support that are right for you and the Veteran you care for.

  • Caregiver Support Line : With VA's Caregiver Support Line - 1-855-260-3274 - assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you're in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed professionals who answer the support line can:

    • Tell you about the assistance available from VA.

    • Help you access services.

    • Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.

    • Just listen, if that's what you need right now.

If you're just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line is a great first step to take to learn more about the support that's available to you.

Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love. Find local Caregiver Support Coordinators here . The Caregiver Support Coordinator can assist you with any of the programs or services listed below.

  • Adult Day Health Care Centers : These centers are a safe and active environment with constant supervision designed for Veterans to get out of the home and participate in activities.

  • Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) : This program delivers routine health care in your home when medical issues make it challenging for a Veteran to travel. This service can also include physical rehabilitation, mental health care for your Veteran, social work and referrals to VA and community services.

  • Home Hospice Care : During the advanced stages of a terminal disease, Home Hospice Care can offer comfort and supportive services for you and the Veteran you care for in your own home. An interdisciplinary team of health care providers and volunteers from a local community hospice agency is there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Grief counseling is also available for you and other immediate Family members.

  • Homemaker and Home Health Aides : This program provides in-home care to Veterans with personal care needs on a routine schedule. This care is arranged by the local VA medical center.

  • Home Telehealth : Designed for Veterans who live at a distance from a VA medical center, the Home Telehealth program connects them with a care coordinator through technology (e.g., telephone, computers). These services may also include education and training or online and telephone-based support groups.

  • Respite Care : Respite care is an occasional way to take a break from your caregiving duties and relax, renew your energy, and avoid caregiver burnout. Veterans who require a caregiver may be eligible for up to 30 days of respite care each year. This care can be offered in your home, at a VA community living center, at a VA-contracted community residential care facility, or at an adult day health care center.

  • Skilled Home Care : This service provides medical care for homebound Veterans. The Skilled Home Care service is similar to Home-Based Primary Care, but involves VA purchasing care for a Veteran from a licensed non-VA medical professional.

Services for Family Caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans

This program will provide additional assistance to primary Family Caregivers of eligible post 9/11 Veterans and Service members. Services 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 .

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).

Additional Information

VA Caregiver Support:

https://www.caregiver.va.gov/

Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program (on or after September 11, 2011 Veterans):

https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/CaregiverFactSheet_Apply.pdf

Apply to the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program (on or after September 11, 2011 Veterans):

https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/Caregiver_Eligibility_Check.asp

Family Caregiver Support Coordinator: Find local Coordinators here:

https://www.caregiver.va.gov/help_landing.asp

Document Review Date: 30 July 2018