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Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Another important goal of the Mission Act of 2018 was to improve veteran caregiver resources and support. One way of doing that was to expand eligibility for the VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). Today’s post will focus on the history and expanded eligibility requirements of the PCAFC.

If you haven’t read our first two posts on the VA Mission Act of 2018, visit Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up!

History of the PCAFC

The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers was created in 2011 as part of the VA Caregiver Support Program (CSP). Its purpose was to provide resources and support for caregivers of veterans who served after September 11, 2001 and sustained serious injuries while in the line of duty.

The “Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Improvements and Amendments Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018” Final Rule put forth changes to the PCAFC, including:

PCAFC Process Overview
  • Expanding eligibility for PCAFC
    • This change opened up eligibility for any veterans who served before May 7, 1975. This new eligibility went into effect on October 1, 2020. While this expansion is a step in the right direction, there is still a large group of veterans who served between May 7, 1975 and September 10, 2001, who do not meet eligibility standards.
    • A second eligibility expansion should go into effect on October 1, 2022, to include this large group of currently ineligible veterans. 
  • Working toward future contract solutions that will include legal and financial services for designated Primary Family Caregivers.
  • Additional updates affecting program eligibility and the VA application evaluation process.

Some of the eligibility updates to the PCAFC means that veterans no longer have to meet the eligibility requirement of sustaining a serious injury during the timeframes listed. As injuries, disabilities, aging, and financial resources all play a part in the necessity of the strain and stress on veteran caregivers, the updated requirements make it easier for veterans to utilize this program for their caregivers.

The CSP now has more than 1700 full-time staff to ensure veterans and caregivers receive equal care and support levels.

help for family caregivers

Who qualifies for the PCAFC?
Veteran eligibility requirements:
  1. The individual must be a veteran or a member of the Armed Forces in the process of a medical discharge.
  2. The individual must have a serious illness or injury related to active duty with a single or combined service-connected disability rating of 70% or more.
  3. The individual needs continuous in-person care for at least 6 months. This care must mean the veteran or Armed Forces member:
    • Cannot perform *daily living activities or necessary actions without assistance OR
    • Needs protection, supervision and continuous instruction and help
  4. Participation in the program is in the best interest of the individual.
  5. The caregiver’s services would not be provided at the same time and in the same manner by another service or program.
  6. The individual is or will be receiving care at home by the appointed caregiver.
  7. The care is or will be at home and ongoing by a Primary Care Team once a Family Caregiver is appointed by the VA.

*Daily living activity assistance means the individual needs help each time (requiring assistance only some times does not meet eligibility requirements) they do one of the below activities:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing/undressing
  • Keeping clean and groomed
  • Adjusting prosthetic or orthopedic appliances without assistance
  • Toileting activities 
  • Feeding oneself
  • Mobility
Family Caregiver eligibility requirements:
  1. 18 year of age or older.
  2. Must be either:
    • The eligible individual’s spouse, parent, child, stepfamily or extended family member OR
    • Be living with the individual full-time currently or once designated
  3. Go through an initial VA assessment and complete caregiver education and training.
  4. Finish the education and training, show ability to carry out all necessary duties for care, and demonstrate core competencies and training requirements.
  5. There must be no abuse or neglect involving the individual and care giver.

Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

What’s Next?

Our next post will address the application process for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, caregiver benefits, and stipend information. 

Reach out

Are you receiving the maximum benefits and disability compensation you are entitled to? Don’t settle for less than what you have earned and deserve from your commitment to service. Our team can help determine if a veteran is eligible for our process. If not eligible, we will suggest other resources that can help. Don’t do it alone! It’s worth knowing with confidence where you stand.

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