Hundreds of VA applications for new family caregiver benefits processed in first week

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In the first week for open applications, Veterans Affairs representatives have assisted more than 625 veterans, service members and their family caregivers in applying for new services under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010.

"We are off to a good start having helped hundreds to apply, but we know there are thousands more who will qualify and need to apply today," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "I encourage eligible veterans and their family caregivers to apply now to receive the benefits they have earned."

New services for primary family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 veterans 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 plan. The stipend portion of this service will be backdated to the date of the application. Comprehensive caregiver training and medical support are other key components of this program.

VA coordinators began processing applications for eligible post-9/11 veterans and service members to designate a primary family caregiver on May 9, 2011. On top of receiving the 625 plus applications, caregiver support coordinators also have assisted nearly 1,200 other caregivers in finding more than two dozen other caregiver benefits VA provides.

Applications can be processed by telephone through the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274, in person with a caregiver support coordinator at a VA medical center, by mail or online at with the new Caregiver Application (VA Form 1010-CG). The website application also features a chat option that provides a family caregiver with a live representative to assist in completing the application form.