New regulations provide support to more of the family caregivers supporting seriously injured veterans. Here are the basics—and important reminders about carefully stewarding all of the benefits veterans have earned.
Giving More Family Caregivers Needed Resources
October 2020 marks the beginning of long-awaited and important relief for families caring for seriously injured veterans at home. As reported by AARP
Previously, the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) paid only family members and friends who provide care to those who were severely injured on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Under new regulations, caregivers of veterans who were severely injured in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975, became eligible for the benefit on Oct. 1. In October 2022, the program is scheduled to extend to veterans injured between May 7, 1975, and Sept. 10, 2001.
Monthly payments are set by a federal rate assigned to where a veteran lives. For example, a primary family caregiver of a veteran in Dallas who is unable to perform daily living activities or requires continuous supervision would receive approximately $2,800 a month. If the veteran is able to perform daily living activities, the caregiver would receive about $1,750 a month.
Eligibility Expanded: Assistance for Family Caregivers
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has ramped up the capacity to administer the expanded caregiver support. To determine eligibility and obtain application information, visit VA Caregiver Support.
Many veterans and their families have been eagerly awaiting the eligibility expansion. As reported in MilitaryTimes:
“Caregivers provide stability and security to our most vulnerable veterans, allowing them to stay in their homes with their loved ones for as long as possible,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Through this expansion, VA is able to give more family caregivers access to essential resources so we can support them as they care for veterans of earlier eras.”
Benefits Management: Bonded Fiduciaries
Now is also an important time to ensure that our most vulnerable veterans and their families are getting the full use of all of their benefits.
If age, injury or illness is preventing a veteran you love from benefits management, the VA can appoint a fiduciary to receive and manage the benefits on behalf of the veteran and dependents. A VA Fiduciary can be a spouse, relative, friend, or other qualified caregivers, who undergoes the VA background screening process prior to appointment.
Once appointed by the VA to receive and manage benefits on behalf of a veteran, the fiduciary must secure a VA Fiduciary Bond. This is to safeguard the veteran and beneficiaries in the event a fiduciary commits fraud or misuses funds.
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VA Fiduciaries must adhere to high standards of responsibility in managing the benefits of veterans. For example, they must keep funds separate from their own, avoid conflicts of interest and protect unspent funds. For more information about becoming a VA Fiduciary, visit the VA here.
Nice To Know: More Benefits and Services
States offer a variety of additional benefits to veterans. Examples include tuition waivers, property tax discounts, special admission to parks and attractions, counseling services and more. Share the list compiled by MilitaryTimes with the veterans in your life.
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