VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)

Army Reserve: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) offers clinical services to caregivers of eligible and covered Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. CSP is a national program with local offices and teams located within VA facilities . The program’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of family caregivers who care for our Nation’s Veterans, through education, resources, support, and services. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) helps the Families and Veterans injured on or after September 11, 2001 or on or before May 7, 1975.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) also carries out its mission through the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) . PGCSS provides peer support mentoring, skills training, coaching, telephone support, online programs, and referrals to available resources to caregivers of Veterans. The Veteran must be enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and be receiving care from a caregiver in order for the caregiver to participate. Caregivers who participate in PGCSS are called General Caregivers. General Caregivers do not need to be a relative or live with the Veteran.

MISSION Act

As part of the 2018 VA MISSION Act, the VA is giving more Family caregivers access to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers so they can be supported as they care for Veterans of all eras.

VA began accepting applications October 1, 2020, in 2 phases:

  • First, Family caregivers of Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975, will become eligible for this program

  • On October 1, 2022, Family caregivers of Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty between May 7, 1975, and September 10, 2001, will become eligible.

Many services are already available to support caregivers of enrolled Veterans of all eras. For more information call the Caregiver Support Line toll free at 1-855-260-3274.

Eligibility

The Veteran must have a serious injury, which is a single or combined service-connected disability rating of 70% or more, and meet the following eligibility requirements to participate in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers:

  • The individual is either:

    • A Veteran; or

    • A member of the Armed Forces undergoing a medical discharge from the Armed Forces.

  • The individual has a serious injury (including serious illness) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service:

    • On or after September 11, 2001; or

    • On or before May 7, 1975; or

    • Effective October 1, 2022, Veterans from all eras who were seriously injured in the line of duty.

  • The individual is in need of in-person personal care services for a minimum of six (6) continuous months based on any one of the following:

    • An inability to perform an active daily living; or

    • A need for supervision, protection, or instruction.

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

  • Personal care services that would be provided by the Family Caregiver will not simultaneously and regularly provided by or through another individual or entity

  • The individual receives care at home or will do so if VA designates a Family Caregiver

  • The individual receives ongoing care from a Primary Care Team or will do so if VA designates a Family Caregiver.

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

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.Veterans doing exercises

  • 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 Aide Care: 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.

  • Remote Monitoring Care: Designed for Veterans who live at a distance from a VA medical center, the Remote Monitoring 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.veteran having blood pressure checked

  • Skilled Home Health Care: This service provides medical care for homebound Veterans. The Skilled Home Health 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
If approved, Veterans can select one (1) primary (main) caregiver and up to two (2) secondary caregivers. Secondary caregivers serve as a backup support to the primary caregiver when needed. The services you receive will depend on whether you are the primary or secondary caregiver.

If you are the primary caregiver, you may receive:

  • A monthly stipend (paid directly to you as the caregiver)

  • Access to health care insurance through Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), if you do not already have health insurance

  • Mental health counseling

  • Certain beneficiary travel benefits when traveling with the Veteran to appointments. Note for specific details, speak to your Caregiver Support Coordinator

  • At least 30 days of respite care per year, for the Veteran. Respite is short term relief for someone else to care for the Veteran while you take a break.

If you are the secondary caregiver, you may receive:

  • Mental health counseling

  • Certain beneficiary travel benefits when traveling with the Veteran to appointments. Note for specific details, speak to your Caregiver Support Coordinator

  • At least 30 days of respite care, per year for the Veteran. Respite is short term relief for someone else to care for the Veteran while you take a break

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/

Apply to the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program (on or after September 11, 2001 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

Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Eligibility Criteria Fact Sheet:
https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FactSheets/CSP_Eligibility_Criteria_Factsheet_1-4-21.pdf#

Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Expansion Fact Sheet:
https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FactSheets/ExpansionFactsheet.pdf#

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers:
https://www.va.gov/family-member-benefits/comprehensive-assistance-for-family-caregivers/

Document Review Date: 31 March 2022