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By Peter S. Gaytan
The Department of Veterans Affairs is now accepting new applications for Caregiver benefits. VA also has partnered with Easter Seals to develop training for VA’s Caregiver Program. The goal is to provide proper and comprehensive training for caregivers in the homes of wounded veterans.
The Caregivers and Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 expanded services for primary, family, and general veteran caregivers. For primary caregivers of veterans who served after September 11, 2001, VA provides a stipend, mental health services, respite care, and health-care coverage. For family caregivers of veterans who served after September 11, 2001, VA will provide instruction, training, travel, lodging, per diem for training, respite care, and counseling. General caregivers for veterans of all eras are provided in-person education, counseling, respite care, and information on all VA benefits and services.
Caregivers can apply by completing an online pre-screening questionnaire at: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/caregiver/
If the caregiver is eligible after completing the pre-screening questions, they must complete VA Form 10-10CG, Application for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregiver Program. You can find the application at: https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/Form/10-10CG.pdf
After completing the application, which must be signed by the veteran and caregiver, it should be mailed to Family Caregiver Program, Health Eligibility Center, 2957 Clairmont Road NE, Ste 200, Atlanta, GA 30329-164.
You can also apply by calling 877-222-8387. For questions about caregiver programs and services, you can call the VA’s National Caregiver Support Line at 855-230-3274.
For more information on the VA Caregiver Program, go to: http://www.caregiver.va.gov/
Peter S. Gaytan is the author of For Service To Your Country – Updated Edition: The Essential Guide to Getting the Veterans’ Benefits You’ve Earned (Citadel, 2011), available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. He has served as an advocate in securing and protecting the earned benefits of America’s veterans for more than a decade. Gaytan is the Executive Director of the American Legion, the largest veterans service organization in America.