Posted on Mar 1, 2019
SSG Carlos M.
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We are looking for caregivers to share their story. Please reach out for more information. I always thought a "caregiver" was someone who needed to be taking care of a disabled veteran 24/7, but recently learned that anyone - including a friend - who helps a veteran can get a stipend from the VA.

I'd like to know more about what qualifies as a "caregiver," what the process is via the VA, and what benefits are availble.
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LTC Stephen F.
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Thank you for posting a relevant question SSG Carlos M.. I thought it made sense to post the eligibility and approval requirements for both veterans and family caregivers as well as secondary caregivers.
If I have spine surgery, I am qualify and my wife may become eligible to be caregiver. I have an appointment to determine if I should have lumbar surgery on March 18, 2019.

BLUF
1. Veteran requirement "The individual is a Veteran who is service connected for a serious injury that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001, and has been rated 100 percent disabled for that serious injury, and has been awarded special monthly compensation that includes an aid and attendance allowance. NOTE: Veteran must still meet the requirements in this paragraph 6.a., including needing personal care services from another individual (a
caregiver) for a minimum of 6 continuous months."
2. Caregiver requirement " In order to serve as a primary or secondary family caregiver and for VA to approve the application, the applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
(a) Be at least 18 years of age.
(b) Be either:
1. The Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-family member, or extended family member; or
2. Someone who lives with the Veteran full time or will do so if designated as a family caregiver.
(c) There must be no determination by VA of abuse or neglect of the Veteran by the family caregiver applicant.
(d) Meet the requirements of paragraph 6.b.(3)
3. [6.b.(3)] Assessment, Training, and Education of Applicants. Before VA approves an application for an applicant to serve as a primary or secondary family caregiver, all of the following requirements must be satisfied:
(a) The applicant must be initially assessed by a VA primary care team as being able
to complete caregiver education and training. NOTE: The Veterans Transportation Service may be available for purposes of this assessment in accordance with 38 CFR Part 70, Subpart B. This assessment must consider any relevant information specific to the needs of the Veteran, as well as:
1. Whether the applicant can communicate and understand details of the treatment plan and any specific instructions related to the care of the Veteran. NOTE: Accommodation for language or hearing impairment will be made to the extent possible and as appropriate.
2. Whether the applicant will be capable of following, without supervision, a treatment plan listing the specific care needs of the Veteran.
(b) Complete caregiver training and demonstrate the ability to carry out the specific personal care services, core competencies, and other additional care requirements prescribed by the Veteran’s primary care team.

For specifics I recommend going to the VA website
I am posting some of the basic information about the program from:
CAREGIVER SUPPORT PROGRAM VHA DIRECTIVE 1152(1) dated June 14, 2017
Paragraph 3. DEFINITIONS
(1) Family Caregiver.
(a) A family caregiver is an individual who:
1. Is the Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-family member, or
extended family member or;
2. Lives with the Veteran full time or will do so if designated as a family caregiver
but is not a member of the family of the Veteran.
(b) Family caregivers include both primary and secondary family caregivers, as
defined in 38 CFR 71.15, under the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family
Caregivers. In order to qualify for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family
Caregivers, the family caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and meet other
requirements set forth in 38 CFR Part 71. For a detailed discussion of primary and
secondary family caregivers, see paragraph 6.
(2) General Caregiver. A general caregiver is defined in 38 CFR 71.30(a) as a
person who is not a primary or secondary family caregiver and who provides personal care services to a Veteran, even if the individual does not live with the Veteran. The Program of General Caregiver Support Services is authorized by 38 U.S.C. 1720G(b).
For a detailed discussion of this program, see paragraph 8.
c. In the Best Interest. In the best interest is defined as a clinical determination that participation in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is likely to be beneficial to the Veteran. The determination includes consideration, by a clinician, of whether participation in the Program will:
(1) Significantly enhance the Veteran’s ability to live safely in a home setting;
(2) Support the Veteran’s potential progress in rehabilitation, if such potential exists;
and
(3) Create an environment that supports the health and well-being of the Veteran."


6. THE PROGRAM OF COMPREHENSIVE ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers involves both primary and secondary family caregivers. Its establishment is required by 38 U.S.C. 1720G(a), and rules governing its operation are set forth in 38 CFR Part 71.
a. Veteran Eligibility. Pursuant to 38 CFR 71.20, an individual is eligible for a primary or secondary family caregiver if all of the following requirements are met.
(1) The individual is either:
(a) A Veteran; or
(b) A member of the Armed Forces who has been found unfit for duty due to a medical condition by their Service’s Physical Evaluation Board, and has been issued a date for medical discharge from the Armed Forces.
(2) The individual has 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.
(3) Such serious injury renders the individual in need of personal care services from another individual (a caregiver) for a minimum of 6 continuous months based on any one of the following clinical criteria:
(a) An inability to perform one or more activities of daily living;
(b) A need for supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury;
(c) The individual is a Veteran who is service connected for a serious injury that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001, and has been rated 100 percent disabled for that serious injury, and has been awarded special monthly compensation that includes an aid and attendance allowance. NOTE: Veteran must still meet the requirements in this paragraph 6.a., including needing personal care services from another individual (a
caregiver) for a minimum of 6 continuous months.

(2) Eligibility. In order to serve as a primary or secondary family caregiver and for VA to approve the application, the applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
(a) Be at least 18 years of age.
(b) Be either:
1. The Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-family member, or extended family member; or
2. Someone who lives with the Veteran full time or will do so if designated as a family caregiver.
(c) There must be no determination by VA of abuse or neglect of the Veteran by the family caregiver applicant.
(d) Meet the requirements of paragraph 6.b.(3) of this directive and any other applicable statutory or regulatory requirements.
[6.b.(3)] Assessment, Training, and Education of Applicants. Before VA approves an application for an applicant to serve as a primary or secondary family caregiver, all of the following requirements must be satisfied:
(a) The applicant must be initially assessed by a VA primary care team as being able
to complete caregiver education and training. NOTE: The Veterans Transportation Service may be available for purposes of this assessment in accordance with 38 CFR Part 70, Subpart B. This assessment must consider any relevant information specific to the needs of the Veteran, as well as:
1. Whether the applicant can communicate and understand details of the treatment plan and any specific instructions related to the care of the Veteran. NOTE: Accommodation for language or hearing impairment will be made to the extent possible and as appropriate.
2. Whether the applicant will be capable of following, without supervision, a treatment plan listing the specific care needs of the Veteran.
(b) Complete caregiver training and demonstrate the ability to carry out the specific personal care services, core competencies, and other additional care requirements prescribed by the Veteran’s primary care team.

(5) Initial Home Care Assessment. No later than 10 business days after VA certifies completion of caregiver education and training, or should a Veteran be hospitalized during this process, no later than 10 days from the date the Veteran returns home, a VA clinician or a clinical team will visit the Veteran’s home to assess the caregiver’s completion of training and competence to provide personal care services at the home, and to measure the Veteran’s well-being. The initial in-home visit must be completed by a VA clinician or clinical team, not through a contract with a non-VA provider.
(6) Approval and Designation. If VA determines that the Veteran and at least one family caregiver applicant meet the applicable eligibility requirements, VA will approve the application and designate primary and/or secondary family caregivers, as appropriate. This approval and designation is a clinical determination. Approval and designation is conditioned on the Veteran and designated family caregivers remaining eligible for caregiver benefits under this directive. Veterans and family caregivers who are determined ineligible, will be informed that they have the right to file a clinical appeal using the VHA clinical appeals process identified in VHA Directive 1041, Appeal of VHA

d. Primary Family Caregiver Benefits. Once an application is approved and a primary family caregiver is designated, the following additional services and supports must be made available to primary family caregivers:

(4) Stipend Payments. A monthly stipend payment is paid directly to the primary family caregiver. The amount of the monthly stipend amount is tied to the Veteran’s assigned tier level and is calculated based on the Veteran’s geographic area of residence using the formula set forth in regulation. See 38 CFR 71.40(c)(4). The tier level is assigned based on the personal care needs of the Veteran, not specific duties performed by caregivers that are not directly related to assistance with activities of daily living or providing supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury in the home.

7. REVOCATION FROM THE PROGRAM OF COMPREHENSIVE ASSISTANCE
FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
a. Revocation by Family Caregiver. The family caregiver may request a revocation of caregiver status in writing and provide either a present or future date of the revocation. All caregiver benefits will continue to be provided to the family caregiver until the date of the revocation. If requested and applicable, VA will assist the family caregiver in transitioning to alternative health care coverage and mental health services.
...
b. Revocation by Veteran or Surrogate. The Veteran or the Veteran’s surrogate may initiate revocation of a primary or secondary family caregiver.

Here is the respective VA website link.

Thank you for mentioning me, my friend COL Mikel J. Burroughs Lt Col Charlie Brown TSgt Joe C. SP5 Mark Kuzinski SCPO Morris Ramsey PVT Mark Zehner SGT Michael Thorin CPT Scott Sharon Maj Bill Smith, Ph.D. PO3 Phyllis Maynard
https://www.caregiver.va.gov/
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Capt Brandon Charters
Capt Brandon Charters
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This is very helpful, LTC Stephen F.. Do you personally know any veterans who have gone through the process to become caregivers?
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LTC Stephen F.
LTC Stephen F.
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Not that I am aware of, my friend Capt Brandon Charters. If I go through lumbar spine surgery I may be eligible for a period of time. If I go through that I will try to take good notes and share later.
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SCPO Morris Ramsey
SCPO Morris Ramsey
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Now this is what this site is about. We all care about each other, but you went the extra mile and provided the information and a path to getting more information.
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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Edited >1 y ago
Great post and information SSG Carlos M. - ssharing with the Top Influencers to get the word out Carlos!

Sgt (Join to see) SFC(P) (Join to see) MSgt David Hoffman PO1 H Gene Lawrence
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SP5 Mark Kuzinski
SP5 Mark Kuzinski
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I just sent it out - thanks COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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