Family Caregiver Program For Injured Vets

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — U.S. military veterans may be eligible for a family caregiver program if the are medically discharged for a serious injury, officials say.

Dr. Robert Petzel, Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for health, says U.S. law, for the first time, provides a direct benefit to designated, approved family caregivers of eligible post-Sept. 11, 2001, veterans, including monthly stipends and health insurance.

“Family caregivers are full partners with VA who help to ensure that veterans receive the top-quality care they have earned,” Petzel said in a statement. “Expanded services will support family caregivers, improve their self-care, provide training and help them connect with each other for support and encouragement.”

The department began accepting applications for caregiver stipend and benefits payments by mail, telephone and online in May.

As of July 26, 1,644 applications have been received. To date, 567 stipends have been approved with a monthly average of $1,600.

In addition, caregiver support includes the new caregiver Web site — www.caregiver.va.gov — which indicates the nearest VA medical center-based caregiver support coordinator, links to existing VA social media and information on future caregiver-specific social media features.

More information is available at the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.

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