The Fighting for Equal Access to Caregiver Services and Supports Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program
Caregivers are the family and friends that help and support severely ill and injured veterans live to their highest potential. Yet the sacrifices and needs of caregivers remain largely unrecognized and unmet. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) created a comprehensive support program for caregivers; however, that system is not allowed to serve veterans severely disabled before September 11, 2001.
Today, many caregivers of severely disabled veterans are aging and their ability to continue in their role is declining. Although most caregivers continue to undertake this role willingly, access to comprehensive assistance, available through VA’s comprehensive support program for caregivers, would help sustain their efforts.
DAV is working for equal access to comprehensive VA caregiver support services for caregivers for all of our nation’s veterans and continues to urge Congress to enact legislation to ensure this modification is passed.
New VA MISSION Act, P.L. 115-182, expands caregiver assistance to pre-9/11 veterans
On May 23, 2018, following years of debate, collaboration and finally compromise, Congress gave final approval to historic veterans legislation that would expand the eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs comprehensive caregiver program to veterans catastrophically injured before Sept. 11, 2001. The “John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018,”—referred to as the “VA MISSION Act,”— extends support to thousands more deserving family caregivers that severely injured veterans rely on, but also make a number of reforms and improvements to strengthen the VA health care system and improve veterans’ access to care.