Legislation Expands Benefits for Veteran Family Caregivers
Veterans deserve as many benefits as possible. Many have been through so much and they have made the ultimate sacrifice to serve for our country. The good news is that lawmakers are recognizing their efforts more and more and passing laws that bring about more benefits, especially ones that focus on healthcare.
Veterans benefits have recently been expanded in a couple ways. One of these is benefits for veteran family caregivers from the federal government. This legislation, known as the Mission Act, was passed in October 2020. It aims to expand upon benefits that were originally only given to veterans who served after 9/11.
The Mission Act was spearheaded by former United States Sen. Johnny Isakson and passed due to its bipartisan support. Sen. John Hoeven contributed benefits for home-based care and nursing home-based care. Both Isakson and Hoeven created the bill to give back to selfless veterans.
The Mission Act was divided into two phases. Phase 1 was passed in October 2020. The Veterans Administration began accepting applications for this phase on October 1. It reimbursed family members who served as caregivers to veterans who served in Vietnam or earlier and have a 70% service-related disability. Phase 2 is expected to take effect in 2022. It will expand these benefits to veterans who served after this time but have the same degree of disability. This means that veterans who served between May 7, 1975, and September 10, 2001, will be eligible.
There are a couple other requirements. Eligible veterans must have been discharged from the U.S. military and need six months or longer of continuous, in-person personal care services
Another bill was recently passed. The National Defense Act expanded the health conditions under the Agent Orange Act. Those who served in Vietnam or nearby waters and have experienced medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, parkinsonism or bladder cancer can now receive benefits.
What Benefits Do Caregivers Receive?
A caregiver is defined as a family member who is at least 18 years old. Eligible family members include spouses, adult children, parents, stepfamily members and extended family members of the veteran. A caregiver is also defined as someone who lives with the veteran full time.
Caregivers of veterans are eligible for a variety of benefits, such as education, training, respite care services and self-care courses. They also have access to the Caregiver Support Line, which can help provide general support, no matter how or when the veteran was injured. Caregivers may receive a monthly stipend and mental health counseling, as well as compensation for travel. They may also qualify for advanced respite services and other benefits.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Many older veterans are unaware of the benefits they are eligible to receive for their time fighting for their country. These benefits can greatly help them should they suffer from medical conditions.
Don’t miss out. Get your questions answered by White Plains veterans benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. Schedule a free consultation with our office today. Fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.