The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) offers services to Veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system and their caregivers. The program’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for our Nation’s Veterans. The mission is carried out through two programs that offer various levels of education, resources, support, and services.
1. Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS)
PGCSS provides services and referrals for available resources to caregivers of Veterans with specific needs. For a caregiver to be eligible to participate, the Veteran must require care for one or more activities of daily living or need supervision or protection for symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or impairment from injury. The caregiver does not have to be a familial relation of the Veteran and will be referred to as a General Caregiver.
There is no formal application for enrollment in this program. A caregiver should contact a CSP Team/Caregiver Support Coordinator (available at every VA facility) and complete an intake with the facility. The Veteran must agree to receive care from the caregiver and the caregiver will be listed in the Veteran’s healthcare record.
PGCSS General Caregivers may have access to:
- Training and support through in-person, online, and telehealth sessions
- Skills training focused on caregiving for a Veteran’s unique needs
- Individual counseling related to the care of the Veteran
- Respite care: a resource that offers medically and age-appropriate short-term services to eligible Veterans and allows caregivers to take time off
- Peer support mentoring
2. Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support for family caregivers of eligible Veterans.
Veterans may be eligible for this clinical program if they sustained or aggravated a serious injury (or illness) in the line of active military duty. The Veteran must also have a combined service-connected disability rating of 70% or more and need personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months. This program requires a VA Online Application (Equal to VA Form 10-10CG) .
Veterans can designate one Primary Family Caregiver and up to two Secondary Family Caregivers on the application (as back-up support). Services available depend on whether you are a Primary or Secondary Family Caregiver, and may include:
- A monthly stipend (paid to you as caregiver)
- Access to health care insurance (CHAMPVA) if caregiver does not have health insurance
- Mental health counseling
- Certain travel benefits when traveling with Veteran to appointments
- At least 30 days of respite care for the Veteran while caregiver takes a break
The application can be submitted to your local VA facility’s CSP Team or mailed to:
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Road NE, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
You can locate a CSP Team via the Locator Tool, reach the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274 and check the status of your 1010CG application by calling 855-488-8440, option 3.
Remember, both programs described above require Veterans to be enrolled in VA healthcare. You’ll find additional information on the VA Caregiver Support Program at http://www.caregiver.va.gov/.
If you have any questions about this process, email an AAFMAA Member Benefits representative at [email protected] or call 888-961-4432, select option 2, then option 2 again.