Caregiver Support Program
The Program of Comprehensive
Assistance for Family Caregivers
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. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, as established in PL 111163, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, has allowed VA to provide additional supports and services to Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.
Currently, only caregivers of veterans who suffered a qualifying injury on or after Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for this program. Due to recent changes in the law, caregivers of veterans who suffered a qualifying injury prior to May 7, 1975 will become eligible in early 2019. Caregivers of all other veterans will be eligible for the benefit by 2021.
Services Available to Caregivers through this Program
Caregivers of eligible veterans can receive:
- 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)
The veteran must be enrolled in the VA healthcare program, and the injury must be service-connected.
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: 1. The Caregiver must be at least 18 years of age.
2. The Caregiver must be either: a. The Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-family member, or extended family member; or b. Someone who lives with the Veteran full time.
3. 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.
**There are additional criteria that must be met prior to approval.
Application Details: • Veterans may begin the application process by accessing the Caregiver Program application (VA Form 10-10CG) at www.caregiver.va.gov. The application enables Veterans to designate one primary Family Caregiver and up to two secondary Family Caregivers. Caregiver Support Coordinators are available at every VA Medical Center to assist Veterans and their Caregivers with the application process. Additional application assistance can be provided at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). • If the Veteran is not currently enrolled in VA health care, both the VA Form 10-10 EZ for VA health services and the application for the Caregiver Program (VA Form 10-10CG) will need to be completed. • The application must be completed and signed by both the Veteran or their legal representative and the primary Caregiver. The application can be hand carried to a Caregiver Support Coordinator at a local VA Medical Center (VAMC) for walk-in processing or it may be mailed to: Family Caregivers Program
Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Road NE, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
• Within three business days of receipt of the initial application, the Caregiver Support Coordinator at the Veteran’s preferred VA Medical Center will contact the Veteran and Family Caregiver applicant(s). • A clinical team from VA will coordinate arrangements with the Veteran to complete a clinical eligibility assessment. This will include evaluating what assistance the Veteran needs with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, grooming, and/or need for supervision or protection. In addition, the Caregiver(s) will complete an assessment to ensure the eligibility criteria are met. • Training is completed by the Family Caregiver applicant(s) once it is determined the Veteran meets eligibility criteria. Training can be completed in one of three ways: classroom training; online; or by self-study using a workbook and DVD that will be mailed to the Family Caregiver(s). • Once training is completed by the Family Caregiver applicant(s), a VA clinician will visit the Veteran’s home. The purpose of this home visit is to make sure that the Family Caregiver applicant(s) and Veteran have everything they need to be safe and successful in the home setting. • After the home visit is completed, the Family Caregiver(s) will be approved by VA and a primary Family Caregiver will be designated by VA. The designated primary Family Caregiver will begin receiving a monthly stipend based on the Veteran’s level of need and required assistance. The primary Family Caregiver may also be eligible to receive medical care through CHAMPVA if the primary Family Caregiver is not entitled to care or services under a health-plan contract. • There are many services specific to Caregivers of Veterans of all eras that are currently being offered by VA. Contact your local VAMC Caregiver Support Coordinator or the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 for information on these and other Caregiver resources and services.