New Stipend Program for Caregivers of Veterans Disperses First Payments

Family members caring for veterans received their first payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ new Family Caregiver Program in July.

The new program, officially titled the Family Caregiver Program of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010, provides a monthly stipend to family members who care for veterans that were seriously injured in the line of duty after Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 200 Family Caregivers of Veterans completed the program’s required caregiver training program in time to receive a stipend in July. The VA is dispersing more than $430,000 this month, with each caregiver receiving an average of $2,500. This figure will lower to around $1,600 in following months, as the first payments are retroactive to the date of the application.

Since the program’s launch on May 9, approximately 1,250 Family Caregivers of Veterans applied for the program. The program requires applicants to complete a caregiver comprehensive core training program – developed by VA clinical experts and the nonprofit community-based health agency Easter Seals – before they can begin receiving payments. Eligible Family Caregivers of Veterans are also given access to mental health services and health care insurance if they do not already have it.

Caregivers who qualify for the program can also utilize in-home and community based care for when a veteran needs additional help, respite care that can help care for the veteran for a short time while the caregiver needs relief, additional education programs covering severe traumas like Traumatic Brain Injury, and caregiver support groups

Caregivers who wish to apply may download the application at www.caregiver.va.gov.

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