One of our GoKit users found the perfect assisted living facility in Florida for her father. Although at over $4,000 per month, the payments were quite a burden. After a few months, she discovered that her father was eligible for a VA housing benefit of $2,000/month, which was retroactive to the time he moved in. While not every veteran is eligible for this benefit, the VA caregiver program expanded on October 1, 2020 to offer more services.
Veteran’s Affairs offers two levels of support for caregivers: a general program available to all veterans and their families and a more comprehensive program with more strict criteria. The VA trains regional Caregiver Support Coordinators to help you understand which program addresses your situation at no charge.
The Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) provides resources, education and support to caregivers of Veterans. The Veteran does not need to have a service-connected condition, for which the caregiver is needed, and may have served during any era. No formal application is required.
While the General program offers a range of supportive services, my favorite is the FREE caregiver coaching. You receive four individual sessions over the course of 2-3 months. The coach will provide you with a workbook and help you with a variety of issues caregivers face. They will coach you in stress management, problem solving, self-care and healthy behaviors, as well as, Veteran safety, behaviors, problems or concerns linked to a diagnosis. Your assigned coach will call you for a total of four sessions, over a two to three-month period. Learn more about the REACH VA Program. Ask your Caregiver Support Coordinator about it.
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is for eligible Veterans who have incurred a serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975 or on or after September 11, 2001. This program provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, and health insurance (if eligible), beneficiary travel (if eligible), to caregivers of eligible Veterans.
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 enroll or find out which programs your senior qualifies for, find a Caregiver Support Coordinator in your area.
Be sure to check the VA Caregiver Support Hotline for updates or subscribe to receive email updates and information about VA Caregiver Support Program services.
The VA Caregiver Services may help you love your senior well!