Caregiving Programs for Veterans
Veterans are eligible for various programs, such as veteran-directed care and housebound benefits. Family caregivers play an important role in helping veterans with daily tasks, as well as their health and well-being. Family caregivers for veterans can also apply for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs such as caregiver assistance and other comprehensive assistance programs.
Veteran-directed care at the VA is a program that gives all veterans a chance to receive essential home- and community-based services, including personal care services, other daily living assistance, and support from caregivers.
The program is intended for veterans who may live alone and need additional support from a caregiver who can provide quality care and daily assistance with everyday tasks such as shopping, using the bathroom, bathing, and dressing.
To qualify for veteran-directed care, veterans must be eligible for community care and meet criteria for personal care services, among other requirements. According to the VA, veterans who qualify for the veteran-directed care program are presented with a budget to help pay for essential services and continue living at home or independently in a community setting. If you’re a veteran who is debating between home or community care, read this guide from the VA for more information.
Aid and Attendance Benefits
Aid and attendance benefits are monthly payments from the VA, in addition to a monthly VA pension for qualifying veterans. To be eligible for VA aid and attendance, veterans must currently receive a VA pension and meet at least one of these requirements:
- They need someone to help them with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and shopping.
- They spend the majority of their time in bed due to an illness.
- They’re a patient at a nursing home due to mental or physical limitations related to a disability.
- They have limited eyesight or other visual impairments.
To apply for aid and attendance benefits, individuals need to complete VA Form 21-2680 (Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance) and mail it in or apply in person at a regional VA office.
Housebound benefits are similar in process to aid and attendance benefits. Housebound benefits also provide monthly payments that are added to a monthly VA pension for housebound veterans who qualify and require daily assistance. If a veteran currently receives aid and attendance benefits, they can’t receive housebound benefits at the same time.
To qualify for housebound benefits through the VA, an individual must currently receive a VA pension and confirm they are housebound or spend a majority of time at their home due to a permanent disability. The application process for aid and attendance benefits also applies to housebound benefits, which means individuals need to complete VA Form 21-2680 or apply in person at a regional VA office.
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is a series of services for qualifying veterans who sustained a serious injury at work on or before May 7, 1975, or after September 11, 2001. The program is aimed at providing support in the form of a financial stipend, health insurance, and other resources for veterans and caregivers.
Along with sustaining a serious injury before 1975 or after 2001, veterans also need to adhere to additional eligibility criteria, according to the VA.
- Have a disability rating by the VA of 70 percent or more that includes the definition of a serious injury.
- The individual needs personal care services for at least six continuous months due to:
- An inability to perform daily living activities
- Requiring supervision