2012-10-25 / Community

VA caregiver support program available

IRON MOUNTAIN – People who provide crucial support in caring for seriously injured veterans are known as caregivers. In 2010, Congress passed the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act”, which established the VA Caregiver Support Program, aimed at assisting post 9/11 veterans and their caregivers with various benefits and services.

There are now 13 Caregivers in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin who receive both financial support through monthly stipends and emotional support through the VA health care network. Specialized training helps Jerri understand what she and her husband are going through, and free counseling is available if the need ever arises.

“The monthly stipend recognizes that the caregiver often has to give up a job or at least go to part time to care for their veteran,” said Wahoviak.

Veterans eligible for the VA’s Caregiver Support Program are those who sustained a serious physical or psychological injury in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Other criteria includes: the inability to perform one or more activities of daily living (e.g., dressing, bathing, etc.), need for supervision or protection, and determination by the VA that the injury is connected to the veteran’s military service.

Caregivers of veterans of other eras are also eligible for the same benefits except for monthly stipends and health care for the caregiver.

Veterans and caregivers interested in this program can call (800) 215-8262, ext. 32506 or visit www.caregiver.va.gov.

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