Martinsburg VA Medical Center
New Program enhances VA services for Family Caregivers
May 5, 2011
Martinsburg, W.Va. – This week, staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the interim final rule for implementing the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010. This new rule will provide additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver.
“Family Caregivers allow Veterans to remain in the community and with the loved ones that they served to protect,” said Medical Center Director Ann R. Brown. “The new program builds on the foundation of Caregiver support now provided at VA and reflects what families and clinicians have long known, that Family Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care.”
Additional services for primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Service members include a stipend, mental health services, and access to health care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan. Comprehensive Caregiver training and medical support are other key components of this program.
Veterans and their Family Caregivers can apply for the new services starting May 9 at www.caregiver.va.gov. Donna Cobean, the Martinsburg VA Medical Center Caregiver Support Coordinator, is also available to assist with the application process and direct Veterans and their Family Caregivers to more than two dozen other programs VA offers Family Caregivers for support. “The Veteran must be enrolled in VA health care to benefit from the program,” said Cobean. “If the Veteran is not currently enrolled, we can help with the applications for VA health services and the Caregiver Program.”
Assistance and information on additional resources are also available to Family Caregivers through VA’s National Caregiver Support Line, 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Veterans and Caregivers with questions about the new program can contact Donna Cobean at 304-263-0811, extension 3856.
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