Today marks an important day and a decisive victory for seriously disabled veterans who were wounded or became ill prior to September 11, 2001, as well as for their family caregivers.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie finally announced the long-awaited certification of its new information technology system for its caregiver support program, which means that starting today, veterans from World War II, the Korean and Vietnam war eras with severe injuries or illnesses that occurred on or before May 7, 1975, are now eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). A second expansion phase—currently expected to begin two years after this initial expansion—will cover veterans whose injuries or illnesses occurred between May 8, 1975 and September 10, 2001.
Newly eligible veterans can learn more about the caregiver expansion and download an application to submit by mail or in person at the VA Caregiver Support website, or you can use VA’s Online Application process.
According to VA, if your application for benefits is approved, and your designated caregiver is approved into the program, your benefits may be payable back to the date the application was received (on or after October 1st) if your caregiver was already providing personal care services at your home. If you do not currently have a caregiver but you are found to be eligible for the program, and your application is approved and clinical need is determined, the effective date would be the date the designated caregiver begins providing personal care services to the eligible veteran.
While we are pleased that VA has finally begun the first phase today, rest assured DAV will continue to push to expedite the second expansion phase so that veterans and their caregivers have access to the support services they need, without unnecessary delay, and we will keep you updated on our progress.