Caregivers of Veterans Could Lose Stipend

Caregivers of Veterans Could Lose Stipend

The Veterans Affairs’ stipends for caregivers may be reduced or canceled altogether under case reviews to ensure long-term participants remain eligible for their benefits.

According to VA officials, no reductions will occur in stipends for families enrolled in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers before the fall of next year, and families removed from the program will not lose their financial support before early 2023.

It is currently unclear how many more people can see reductions in financial support every month, but the program currently supports 33,000 individuals. Some veterans could see increases in the number of payouts they have received if reviews find they are eligible for more support.

As part of a series of case reviews during the next year, some veteran caregivers could have their contributions reduced or taken away entirely.

During the fall of next year, there will also be a reduction in the amount of stipends paid for the program of comprehensive assistance for family caregivers. The amount of the stipends is based upon where the veteran lives and the extent of the injuries. 

Veterans and caregivers who apply for the family caregivers program undergo various assessments, education and training. The VA also determines both administrative and clinical eligibility of veterans and caregivers. Caregivers receive a combination of services and benefits to help them provide care to the veteran who cannot conduct fundamental self-care tasks.

A significant increase is expected in enrollment due to the change in the program's underlying structure leading to a considerable rise in the number of eligible individuals. 

Previously, veterans from Vietnam and earlier wars were not eligible for the program, but that has changed, according to Program Executive Director Colleen Richardson. She said the caregiver program would extend to all veterans as early as next fall.