Last year a bill was passed which provided for (among other things) the support and care of those who are caring for severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. This care was supposed to begin in January, but has been repeatedly delayed. However, there's FINALLY good news!
The Veterans Administration begins taking applications TODAY and expects to pay the first stipend payments by July.
Caregivers who qualify will be eligible for the following benefits: a stipend (amount varies depending on level of injuries), mental health services, respite care, health care (through ChampVA, if not covered by another plan), caregiver training, and medical support.
Applications are available on the VA caregiver website (http://www.caregiver.va.gov) and can be hand delivered to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center or sent by mail to a central processing center (address available in the fact sheet below).
As of now, only those caring for veterans who have served since September 11, 2001, are eligible. But, there are plans in place to possibly extend the program to all caregivers in the future.
FYI - The VA is recommending that caregivers apply AS SOON AS POSSIBLE since there are likely to be a lot of families applying in the coming weeks!
For more info, visit these links:
VA Enhances Support of Family Caregivers - http://news.familyofavet.com/2011/05/va-enhances-support-of-family.html
VA to Expand Caregivers Program - http://news.familyofavet.com/2011/05/va-to-expand-caregivers-program.html
Fact Sheet on New Program - http://www.caregiver.va.gov/docs/CaregiverFactSheet-Apply.pdf
To apply, go here: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/caregiver/