While you care for your loved one, the VA has programs to support you.

Veterans with conditions related to service often rely on family and friends for care when they return. Whether you’re taking care of a Veteran temporarily or for the long term, you may be eligible for support from the VA.

The VA offers caregivers like you peer support, mental health care, and even payment for your time, if your Veteran qualifies. Learn more about the programs available and how to get the care you need so you can be there for your loved one.

Caregiving is a demanding job that you might be doing in addition to your own household and income-earning responsibilities. The VA has programs in place to support you.

The Caregiver Support Program is available to anyone caring for a Veteran enrolled in the VA healthcare system.

You can find members of the Caregiver Support Program team at any VA location. You can also call 1-855-260-3274.

The Caregiver Support Program is made up of two programs: the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).

Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS)

People who are caring for Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare are eligible for caregiver support. They do not need to be family members.

The services include:

  • peer support mentoring
  • skills training
  • telephone support
  • online programs
  • referrals to other resources

Caregivers need to enroll in the program, but there’s no application process. A caregiver support coordinator can help connect you to programs in your area or online.

Caregivers don’t have to be family or live with the Veteran they care for to be eligible for VA support.

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)

If your Veteran has a serious illness or injury connected to their service, you might qualify for financial compensation as a caregiver. To qualify, your Veteran must have a disability rating over 70% and need in-person care for 6 months or longer.

You need to apply for the program to receive compensation. If approved, you could get a monthly stipend and health benefits through CHAMPVA. You and a backup caregiver would have access to mental health care and could get help with expenses when you travel with your Veteran for care.

You’ll also get respite care, which means someone else can provide care while you get much-deserved time off.

To be eligible for the program, you must be at least 18 years old, and one of the following must apply:

  • You’re a spouse, adult child, parent, stepfamily member, or extended family member of the Veteran.
  • You live with or are willing to live with the Veteran you care for full-time.

The VA also offers a caregiver support line to help you care for your Veteran. The toll-free line is available to Veterans and anyone who is caring for a Veteran. The team of social workers is available to help connect you to services, answer questions about eligibility, and provide emotional support over the phone.

Call 1-855-260-3274

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Eastern

Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern

You can also call in for monthly caregiver education calls. The team presents a new topic each month.

Learn more and register for the next call.

The VA provides care for Veterans as they age. A variety of programs support the health of the Veteran and offer a break for caregivers. Your Veteran might be eligible for:

  • Care at home: This could include a health aide who helps with daily living tasks like eating, bathing, and grooming. Skilled care, including occupational or physical therapy or nurse services for wound care or IV antibiotics. Even primary care doctors can meet the Veteran at their home.
  • Adult day health care: This program gives Veterans a safe place to go for social activities and assistance with bathing, dressing, or meal preparation.
  • Palliative care: Veterans can receive comfort care and pain relief when living with serious health conditions. Palliative care helps Veterans manage their symptoms so they can keep doing their usual activities.
  • Hospice: This is comfort care for Veterans who are no longer treating health conditions. Hospice care can occur at home, as outpatient care or in-patient care.

These services might only be available in some areas. Veterans may need to meet clinical requirements. Talk with your Veteran’s primary care doctor or social worker. They may be able to connect you to resources in your area and help you decide what care is best for you.

Veterans who wish to age at home but who could use some help remaining independent might be eligible for homemaker and home health aide assistance. A health aide will go to the Veteran’s home to help with their daily living tasks like grooming, eating, and grocery shopping.

The aides are not nurses, but a registered nurse does oversee the care the aides provide.

Veterans who are eligible for community care might be able to receive home health aide services. Talk with a social worker to see whether you qualify. The services are not available everywhere, and the Veteran must meet the clinical requirements to get home health care.

The VA has support in place for those who take care of Veterans. You can access various programs — some accessible anywhere in the world — to get the care you and your Veteran deserve.