VA Caregiver Support Law Overview

The VA Caregiver Support (CS) was enacted into law, Public Law 111-163, and established the statue, 38 USC 1720G, to establish two (2) caregiver support programs: 1) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) and 2) Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS). It was enacted to provide Family and General Caregivers of all eras with benefits, support and assistance while caring for an injured Veteran at home.

The two (2) support programs are for Family and General Caregivers. 

Excerpts from the law and statue state:

(a) PROGRAM OF COMPREHENSIVE ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS.—(1)(A) The Secretary shall establish a program of comprehensive assistance for family caregivers of eligible veterans. (B) The Secretary shall only provide support under the program required by subparagraph (A) to a family caregiver of an eligible veteran if the Secretary determines it is in the best interest of the eligible veteran to do so.

(b) PROGRAM OF GENERAL CAREGIVER SUPPORT SERVICES.— (1) The Secretary shall establish a program of support services for caregivers of covered veterans who are enrolled in the health care system established under section 1705(a) of this title (including caregivers who do not reside with such veterans).

According to the law, both caregiver support programs are ‘SUPPORT’ programs and are not ‘CLINICAL’ or ‘CLINICAL INTERVENTION’ programs. Both caregiver support programs are for the ‘CAREGIVER’ not the ‘VETERAN‘. The benefits, support and assistance are provided directly to the CAREGIVER and why it’s called ‘CAREGIVER SUPPORT’.

The PCAFC is for family caregivers who have a Veteran with a physical and/or mental health injury (ies) which occurred or aggravated on or after 9/11. The support program pays the primary family caregiver a stipend (tax free), and the primary and secondary family caregivers receive benefits, support and assistance.

The PGCSS is for general caregivers (family members) who have a Veteran with a physical and/or mental health injury (ies) which occurred or aggravated prior to 9/11. The support program provides the general caregiver benefits, support and assistance.

Read my next post where I discuss what the regulation says about both caregiver support programs to include the clinical eligibility, roles and responsibilities.

 

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