WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE 127
amily caregivers play a critical role in enabling veterans to stay in their homes, surrounded by their loved ones. This is why the Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to ramp up coverage for veterans from any service period to have access to the care they need. In an expansion to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), caregivers will now be offered to eligible veterans of all service areas. Previously, PCAFC was only available to eligible veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. This expansion opens the program to eligible veterans of all eras, including those who served after May 7, 1975, and before September 11, 2001. Over the past two years, PCAFC has added approximately 20,000 active veteran and family caregiver participants. This final phase of PCAFC expansion will enhance the health and well-being of thousands more veterans by supporting the caregivers who care for them.
PCAFC is one of two programs under VAs Caregiver Support Program (CSP) that provides specialized services to caregivers. Primary family caregivers may receive: A monthly stipend (paid directly to the caregiver). Access to health care insurance through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) if otherwise not insured. Mental health counseling. Certain beneficiary travel benefits when traveling with the veteran to appointments. At least 30 days of respite care per year. Respite is short-term relief for someone else to care for the veteran while the caregiver takes time away. Secondary family caregivers may receive services such as mental health counseling and certain beneficiary travel benefits when traveling with the veteran to appointments.
PCAFC eligibility and how to apply
You sustained or aggravated a serious injury (or illness) in the line of duty in the active military, naval or air service during any service era. Among other applicable eligibility criteria, an eligible veteran must: Have a single or combined service- connected disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of 70 percent or more. Need in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on any one of the following: An inability to perform an activity of daily living. A need for supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury. A need for regular or extensive instruction or supervision without which the ability of the veteran to function in daily life would be seriously impaired.
How do I apply for this program?
Apply online at va.gov/family-member- benefits/apply-for-caregiver-assistance- form-10-10cg/introduction. Download and print the application and mail the form and any supporting documents to your local VA Medical Center Caregiver Support Program (CSP) team. Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Health Eligibility Center 2957 Clairmont Road NE, Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30329-1647 Apply in person by bringing your completed VA Form 10-10CG to your local VA facility's CSP team. To find your local CSP team, you can use the CSP Team Locator Tool online or contact the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274. Do not send medical records along with the application. VA will follow up after the application is received. If you need assistance with completing the application, or would like to check the status please call 1-855-488-8440, option 3.
Sources: Department of Veterans Affairs, caregivers. va.gov
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