VA’s New Caregiver Program

Family caregivers are essential in supporting the wellness of many veterans, but the responsibility shouldn’t fall solely on caregivers alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) passed the MISSION Act in 2018 to help support veterans’ caregivers, which includes additional resources via the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) that went into effect in October 2020.

Benefits of the PCAFC

The PCAFC provides resources, health insurance, educational opportunities, mental health counseling, and travel and lodging stipends to the caregivers of eligible veterans when traveling with them to receive care. The program allows veterans to appoint one individual as their primary caregiver, and up to two others as secondary caregivers, to receive benefits through the PCAFC, such as:

  • Monthly stipends
  • Long-term financial planning and legal services
  • Access to healthcare insurance through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Eligibility for PCAFC Benefits

Before a former servicemember’s caregiver can receive PCAFC benefits, the veteran and caregiver(s) must meet individual eligibility criteria. For veterans to qualify, they must:

  • Have suffered a serious injury during active-duty military service on or before May 7, 1975 or on or after September 11, 2001
  • Receive a disability rating of 70 percent or higher from the VA for one or more injuries
  • Have been discharged from the U.S. military under honorable conditions
  • Be in need of in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months due to an inability to perform daily activities or a need for supervision and protection

Unfortunately, servicemembers who sustained a serious injury on or between May 8, 1975 and September 10, 2001 will not be eligible for PCAFC until 2022 when the program is fully rolled out.

To qualify for PCAFC benefits, potential caregivers must:

  • Be above the age of 18
  • Be either a parent, spouse, child, or extended family member of the eligible veteran
  • Live with the veteran full-time

Am I Eligible?

The goal of the PCAFC is to give veterans and their caregivers access to new resources and support opportunities that were previously unavailable. The VA recognizes the financial, mental, and physical hardships caregivers often experience for the sake of veterans. If you are a former servicemember or a caregiver to a veteran and meet the eligibility criteria for PCAFC benefits, call our firm to see how we can assist you through the process.

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