Are you a family caregiver of a Veteran who has suffered a severe injury in the line of duty? Or are you a Veteran who needs assistance with activities of daily living? If so, you may be eligible for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
The PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support for caregivers of eligible Veterans who are seriously injured. The program has undergone some changes based on the new “Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) Improvements and Amendments Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018” Final Rule, RIN 2900-AQ48, which became effective in October 2020. These changes include expanding eligibility for the PCAFC, establishing new benefits for designated Primary Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans, and making other changes affecting program eligibility and the VA’s evaluation of PCAFC applications.
How Can We Qualify?
To qualify for the program, a Veteran must have a serious injury (which now includes serious illness) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975. The individual must also be in need of in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on an inability to perform an activity of daily living or a need for supervision, protection, or instruction.
The family caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and either the eligible Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, stepfamily member, extended family member, or someone who lives with the eligible Veteran full-time or will do so if designated as a Family Caregiver. VA must initially assess the caregiver as being able to complete caregiver education and training, complete caregiver training, and demonstrate the ability to carry out the specific personal care services, core competencies, and additional care requirements.
What VA benefits am I eligible for?
As an eligible Primary Family Caregiver, you may qualify for a monthly stipend, which is paid at one of two levels based on the VA’s determination of whether the Veteran is “unable to self-sustain in the community.” If the Veteran meets all seven eligibility requirements and is “unable to self-sustain in the community,” the designated Primary Family Caregiver will receive the higher-level stipend payment. If the Veteran does not meet the “unable to self-sustain in the community” requirement, the caregiver will receive the lower-level stipend payment.
If you or a loved one meets the eligibility requirements for the PCAFC, contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator by calling the Caregiver Support Line Expanded Hours at 1-855-260-3274 (Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm ET) toll-free or using the Caregiver Support Coordinator locator tool at www.caregiver.va.gov/support/New_CSC_Page.asp. Online applications will soon be available as well.
As Veterans Benefit Lawyers, We’re Here to Help
At Disability Law Group, navigating the VA system can be overwhelming, especially for those dealing with a serious injury or illness. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help guide you through the process and ensure you receive the benefits and support you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.