Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The VA Program For Veteran Caregivers You May Not Know About
Roughly 5.5 million people serve as caregivers for veteran family members. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a lesser known benefit for these family members. Known as Caregiver Support Services, these benefits aim to help family members who are tasked with the primary care of a disabled veteran.
The services available include access to a caregiver support line, support coordinator, peer support for caregivers, adult day health care centers, and home care, among other things.
One portion of this benefit — aimed specifically at post-9/11 veterans’ families — is the services for family caregivers of post-9/11 veterans under the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.”
Those benefits can include access to a monthly stipend, travel expenses, health insurance, mental health services, VA caregiver training provided by Easter Seals, and respite care, and are meant to ease both the physical, mental, and sometimes financial burden of supporting a veteran as a caregiver.
If awarded, the stipend amount is based on the weekly number of hours of personal care services that an eligible veteran requires during the month. In order to determine the scope of benefits offered to a caregiver, the VA assigns a patient-aligned care team, which uses a three-tier system to evaluate the eligible veteran.
According to the VA, a high-tier veteran equates to a maximum of 40 hours of care per week. the medium tier equates to a maximum of 25 hours of care per week, and the low tier equates to a maximum of 10 hours of care per week.
Task & Purpose spoke with caregiver Emery Popoloski, who is currently receiving aid under the program, about her experience with the VA’s caregiver program. Her husband is a combat disabled veteran who fought in Iraq.
“I was about a year and a half into my caregiver journey … I was just 25,” she said. “All my friends were just getting married, nobody had kids, nobody understood what it was like to have a spouse that was 100% dependent on me.”
That is the importance of the program, she said. It not only connects caregivers to services like stipends and in-home care, but also provides a network of people who are going through similar experiences.
Being well-versed in the program, Popoloski now serves as the caregiver community program coordinator at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation — a group that helps military families and caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them. She was recently promoted to serve as their fellowship program coordinator.
Her work has also led her to involvement with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which is one of a number of groups that helps to connect veterans and their families to these services.
Lynda Davis, executive vice president of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, told Task & Purpose in an interview that the 5.5 million caregivers across the country support veterans of all the U.S. wars. Roughly 1.2 million of them are caregivers to post-9/11 veterans.
“Our intention is to reach all of the 5.5 million caregivers,” Davis said. “We provide an open, public, resource library on a variety of topics that are key to caregivers.”
If you are not sure where to start, the VA offers an eligibility checklist. However, Popoloski suggested that anyone caring for a veteran should consider contacting an advocacy group like Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, or TAPS for more information.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
What it was like to liberate the Nazi death camp of Dachau, according to an Army veteran who was there
At age 23 in the spring of 1945, Guy Prestia was in the Army fighting his way across southern Germany when his unit walked into hell on earth — the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
"It was terrible. I never saw anything like those camps," said Prestia, 97, who still lives in his hometown of Ellwood City.
Against a blistering 56 mph wind, an F/A-18F Super Hornet laden with fuel roared off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and into the brilliant January sky.
Chalk up another step forward for America's newest and most expensive warship.
The Ford has been at sea since Jan. 16, accompanied by Navy test pilots flying a variety of aircraft. They're taking off and landing on the ship's 5 acre flight deck, taking notes and gathering data that will prove valuable for generations of pilots to come.
The Navy calls it aircraft compatibility testing, and the process marks an important new chapter for a first-in-class ship that has seen its share of challenges.
"We're establishing the launch and recovery capabilities for the history of this class, which is pretty amazing," said Capt. J.J. "Yank" Cummings, the Ford's commanding officer. "The crew is extremely proud, and they recognize the historic context of this."