Recently Bill wrote a post that touched on the new benefits for caregivers of Veterans. I got excited! This amazing legislation will provide support to caregivers of Veterans from all eras. So what is it all about?
In May 2010, President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 legislation authorizing the VA to establish a wide range of new services including health care benefits, caregiver respite, reimbursement for travel expenses and a monthly stipend! What a huge relief this will be for caregivers who find themselves unable to work because they are the primary caregiver for a Veteran disabled in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.
Veterans eligible for this 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. They 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. And they must be enrolled for VA health services.
In addition to the new benefits and services for eligible post 9/11 Veterans, there are over two dozen services specific to caregivers of Veterans of all eras that are currently being offered by VA. These benefits include training on caring for Veterans at home, counseling and referral services, support groups, a website for caregivers of Veterans and a toll free caregiver support line at 1-855-260-3274.
The 2010 legislation also requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the new benefits to see whether they can be extended to family caregivers of all veterans. This means that those of us who are caring for an aging parent who is a Veteran may soon have access to enhanced VA benefits like those now offered to post 9/11 Vets!
To find out more about these new and enhanced VA benefits for caregivers of Veterans of all eras, visit the VA Caregiver Support website. You can also read the news release on the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.