Expanded VA caregiver program bill introduced by Durbin
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have introduced the Veterans Affairs Family Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act.
The bill expands the VA Family Caregivers Program to all eligible veterans who were severely injured while serving the country.
The Family Caregivers Program also provides home health training, peer support and a financial stipend to caregivers of severely injured veterans. The caregivers will also have access to mental health support and enrollment in the VA’s Civilian Health and Mental Program.
The original Family Caregiver Program introduced by Durbin in 2009 was limited to post-9/11 veterans only. The new bill provides coverage to all veterans from all wars.
The VA estimates 70,000 more veterans will be eligible under the expanded program, along with 400 from Illinois.
“We owe each and every veteran a great debt of gratitude,” Durbin said. “The VA Family Caregivers Program proved it can make a difference in the lives of America’s heroes and the dedicated caregivers who made the decision to care for them.
Durbin said expanding the bill will provide needed coverage to tens of thousands of more families.
"With this bill, we are on the way to helping many families in need and can finally provide assistance to the caregivers of veterans of all eras on an equal basis," he said.