WASHINGTON — During National Family Caregivers Month this November, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will honor the caregivers of Veterans for their invaluable health care, acknowledging the critical role they play in caring for Veterans every day — and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Caregivers are important members of a Veteran’s health care team and the pandemic has amplified their significance,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We recognize their ongoing commitment to the well-being of Veterans and the roles they play in Veterans’ lives daily. Providing a wide range of resources to help them care for Veterans and themselves is paramount.”
As part of VA’s historic change to the Caregiver Support Program, the department began the first phase of expanding its Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), Oct. 1, which extended the program to eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975. The second phase, effective Oct. 1, 2022, will expand the program to eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty between May 7, 1975 and Sept. 11, 2001. PCAFC offers assistance to Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans, including education and training, respite care, a monthly stipend and more.
VA also offers caregivers of Veterans services under the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS). PGCSS is available to all caregivers who provide personal care services to covered Veterans enrolled in VA health care. PGCSS participants have access to education and training, respite care, and additional services such as VA’s Peer Support Mentoring.
To learn about local events or more about VA’s Caregiver Support Program, contact your local facility’s VA Caregiver Support Coordinator or call the Caregiver Support Line 8 a.m.-10 p.m. EST Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. EST Saturdays.