sipa 13118825 The VA wants to hear from caregivers about changes to the PCAFC

Jeris Baker, 46, leans close to her father to ask him if they have forgotten anything while they go grocery shopping, as her son Kirt Baker, 20, left, waits to gather items at a store. Jeris is the main caregiver for her father, John Hill, who is 92. (Photo by Renee C. Byer/Sacramento Bee/MCT/Sipa USA)

By Jonathan Kaupanger

Caregivers for veterans, the VA wants to hear from you, right now!

Stakeholders of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) are asked to make comments through a Federal Register notice.  In question is whether or not the PCAFC should be refined, and if so, how it should be done.

With PCAFC, Veterans Affairs provides support for some family caregivers who are taking care of vets who have been seriously injured on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Included in this care is a monthly stipend, access to health care for some caregivers, counseling, training and respite care.

“With this opportunity, VA is following through on our promise to provide better service and improve consistency for the program,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We’ve heard participants’ concerns and encourage them to share their personal experiences and perspectives to help us make changes.”

One of the proposed changes is a change to how a serious injury is defined for eligibility. Also, the VA is looking for input on the definition of “best interest,” of the veteran since to take part in this program, it must be in the “best interest.” Also included in the Federal Register notice is if veteran eligibility should be reassessed at specific time intervals or not.

VA plans to use this information as a guide for any future regulatory changes to its caregiver program. It would also like to use this information to make improvements allowed under current laws.

Caregivers have until Feb. 5 to submit their information. You can get more information on VA’s Caregiver Support here.

Connect: @JonathanVets1 | Jonathan@ConnectingVets.com

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