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VA Caregiver Support Program Resumes After Review

Jul 31, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Riverside and Corona

The recent resumption of the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers includes some policy updates and clarifications that may affect your eligibility.

After a 90-day suspension of “clinical revocations” the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently released a directive, titled “Caregiver Support Program” (issued June 14th) which updates its previously established policies for the Caregiver Support Program.

In the update, the VA also identified the need for the following three primary improvements: a need for better communication about clinical revocations, improved internal processes and procedures, and additional staff training.

In the 22 page directive the VA noted that eligible individuals now include those with “….a serious injury (including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other mental disorder) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001.”

Personal Care Services

For the purposes of eligibility under the VA program, personal care services are defined as the care or assistance provided by another person (caregiver) to the veteran that is needed to support the veteran’s health and well-being.

This includes Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Dressing and Undressing
  • Toileting
  • Prosthetic Adjustment
  • Mobility (which includes Transfers)

Veteran’s Eligibility and Application

The VA’s directive dictates that the Veteran and the individual(s) who wish to be considered for designation by the VA as primary or secondary caregivers complete and submit VA Form 10 (10CG) or its successor form.

Other eligibility requirements still apply for access to this program including the established, documented need of continuous personal care services from a caregiver for a minimum of six months.

Caregiver Qualifications

To qualify as a caregiver under the VA’s updated guidelines the caregiver needs to be at least 18 years of age, be either a family member (spouse, son, daughter, parent or extended family member) or someone willing to be designated as or serve as a family caregiver.

Caregiver Training and Education

The caregiver must also be able to complete caregiver training curriculum that meets VA requirements. The caregiver training required by the VA is comparable to what an established, reputable in-home care agency like Comfort Keepers routinely requires of, and provides to, its caregivers:

Demonstrable Knowledge and Understanding of the Following Core In Home Care Topics:

  1. Medication management
  2. Vital signs and pain control
  3. Infection control
  4. Nutrition
  5. Functional activities
  6. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  7. Communication and cognition skills
  8. Behavior management skills
  9. Skin care
  10. Caregiver self-care

It is important to note that caregiver benefits, once approved, are effective the date the application is received by the VA or whenever the Veteran starts to receive care at home – whichever is later.

For more information on our Veterans care services or to see if you qualify for benefits under the VA’s program please contact our office to schedule a free phone consultation.

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