The Department of Veterans Affairs will soon offer support through the new expanded Family Caregiver Program for severely injured Iraq- and Afghanistan-era Vets. The FCP will give eligible post-9/11 Veterans the option to elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver.
Beginning May 9, 2011, Veterans will be able to download a copy of the Family Caregiver program application (VA CG 10-10) at http://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 and via phone at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) to assist Veterans and their Family Caregivers with the application process.
Although benefits will not be paid until June, Veterans are urged to begin applying as soon as possible (after May 9) because the benefits will be paid retroactively to the original date of application.
The additional services for primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Servicemembers include a stipend, mental health services, and access to health care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan.
Comprehensive Caregiver training and medical support are other key components of this program. The program builds on the foundation of Caregiver support now provided at VA and reflects what families and clinicians have long known; that Family Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care.