VA North Texas Health Care System
Caregivers Provide Crucial Support for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes that Family Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care. That’s why VA established the "Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010." Additional VA services are now available to seriously injured post-9/11 Veterans and their Family Caregivers through a new program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. VA is now accepting applications for these services.
Veterans eligible for the program are those who sustained a serious injury – including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder – incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001. Veterans 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 or residuals of neurological impairment or injury. Lastly, Veterans must be enrolled for VA health services.
Services Available to Family Caregivers through the Program
The law provides additional assistance to primary family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and service members. 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)
One Caregivers Story…
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Davis was healthy and alert before he served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He now requires assistance with simple tasks such as driving and remembering to take medications on time. Davis said he’s lucky because he knows some Veterans are in worse shape than he is and everyone doesn’t have a caregiver like he does. His wife Daphne is his caregiver. The couple heard about VA’s Caregiver Support program from the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) case manager at Dallas VA Medical Center.
The Davis' appreciate the caregiver program and everything it has to offer. Their favorite part is the support groups. “There are so many different resources the program has to offer, but the support groups that meet once a month is what I enjoy the most,” Mrs. Davis said. “The group meetings create a bond and open forum for caregivers to comfortably share ideas. Through our common goals, we are able to help each other become better caregivers for the Veteran we love.”
Daphne further applauds the program by saying it has made a major impact on her life. "I look forward to the wealth of information and tools the program provides. I've gained so much training and knowledge to help manage my life and be a better caregiver."
Become a Caregiver for the Veteran in Your Life
Veterans may download a copy of the caregiver program application (VA CG 10-10) at www.caregiver.va.gov. 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. Additional application assistance can be found by calling 1-877-222 VETS (8387).