The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was supposed to start paying stipends to those people serving as caregivers to severely disabled veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars beginning Jan. 30 of this year.
For reasons including questions of eligibility, the program was not executed as originally planned. The VA is now initiating a new Caregiver Program, which will include benefits beyond stipends. Best of all, all benefits will be made retroactive to the date the caregiver first applied.
The VA did not originally plan on making caregiver benefits widely available. This is not the case with this new program. Caregivers will work in conjunction with VA caregiver coordinators to ensure the severely disabled veterans are made as comfortable as possible. The VA is also mandating basic medical training in order to receive a caregiver certification.
The VA will provide qualifying caregivers with a “relief” caregiver, which will give the caregiver a break when necessary. This is in addition to a comprehensive benefits package, which includes monthly stipends and healthcare benefits.
The VA’s requirement that only caregivers to veterans who, without the caregivers, would require institutionalization qualify for the program, has been eliminated. With the requirement, approximately 850 caregivers would have qualified for the program. Without it, approximately 3,500 caregivers will qualify.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.