WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs will send out more than $430,000 in stipend payments to nearly 200 Family Caregivers of Veterans in July. These Family Caregivers were the first to complete their Caregiver training under the program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. The first payments to 96 recipients were issued today.
“This is a long-awaited day for many Family Caregivers who diligently worked to achieve this landmark legislation to enhance services for Family Caregivers,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “I am proud VA can now offer direct support to the loved ones who give the Veterans we serve a greater quality of life by allowing them to remain at home surrounded by family and friends.”
Family Caregivers will receive an average $1,600 in monthly stipend payments. The initial payments will average $2,500 because the first stipend checks are retroactive to the date of application. The amount of the stipend is based on the condition of the Veteran and the amount of care they require as well as the geographic location where the Veteran resides. An additional 80 stipend payments will be released from the U.S. Treasury on July 8 bringing the total to 176 Family Caregivers receiving the stipend in July.
“We continue to process and approve applications on a daily basis” said Deborah Amdur, VA’s Chief Consultant for Care Management and Social Work. “It has been profoundly gratifying to receive messages from Family Caregivers about the value of this program.”
Since May 9, nearly 1,250 Caregivers of Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, have applied for the Program. A core caregiver training curriculum is a required component of the program. This comprehensive training, which was developed by Easter Seals in collaboration with VA clinical experts, has received many positive comments from Family Caregivers. In addition to the training, eligible Family Caregivers can also access mental health services and are provided health care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services under a health plan.
Veterans may review the criteria for eligibility and download the Family Caregiver program application (VA CG 10-10) at www.caregiver.va.gov. The application enables the Veteran to designate a primary Family Caregiver and secondary Family Caregivers if needed. Caregiver Support Coordinators are stationed at every VA medical center to assist with coordinating the training or assist Caregivers in locating available services.
In the metropolitan DC area, Anita Mingo, LICSW, is the Washington DC VA Medical Center’s Caregiver Support Coordinator. She is ready to assist Veterans and their Family Caregivers with the application process and direct them to more than two dozen other programs VA offers. Veterans and Caregivers with questions about the new program can contact Mrs. Mingo at 202-745-8000 ext. 5926.
Support for all Caregivers is also available via the national Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274. Caregivers of Veterans from all eras are encouraged to use the Website and Support Line to learn about more than two dozen supportive services VA offers to Family Caregivers.