Critter Corner: Services for Family Caregivers of Post 9/11 Veterans

Dear Baxter,I am a caregiver for my mother, who is a post-9/11 veteran and sustained a traumatic brain injury in the line of duty. Do you know of any benefits for caregivers in my situation?Thanks,

Karen Forr-Mahero


Dear Karen,

Please thank your mother for her service to our country, and thanks to you for serving as her caregiver.

Caregivers, including yourself, provide crucial support in caring for veterans. Under the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010,” VA services are now available to injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers through a new program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

Who Is Eligible?

-Veterans eligible for this program are those who sustained a serious injury – including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder – incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001.

-Veterans eligible for this program must also be in need of personal care services because of an inability to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.

-To be eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, Veterans must first be enrolled for VA health services, if not enrolled previously.

Services include:

-Monthly stipend Travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying Veterans undergoing care)

-Access to health care insurance (if the Caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)

-Mental health services and counseling

-Comprehensive VA Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals Respite care (not less than 30 days per year)

If you think you fit the criteria for these services, click here to answer some preliminary questions and download an application. The application enables Veterans to designate one primary Family Caregiver and up to two secondary Family Caregivers, if desired. Caregiver Support Coordinators are available at every VA Medical Center to assist Veterans and their Family Caregivers with the application process. Additional application assistance is available here or at 1-877-222 VETS (8387).

Additionally, VA has many other programs and services already in place that support veterans and their family caregivers at home. At you will find a description of more than two dozen programs for all caregivers, training tips, and advice on caregiving, including the importance of taking time to take care of yourself.

Did you know that later this year, all veteran’s benefits will be on one Website? You can read more about this and the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit in our recent blog post.

Hope you both have a nice memorial day weekend!

Doggy licks and hugs,


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.