VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Post 9-11 Family Caregivers
Family caregivers provide crucial support in caring for veterans. VA recognizes that family caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of veterans under VA care.
Under the "Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010," additional VA services are now available to seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers through a new program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. VA is now accepting applications for these services.
Who Is Eligible?
- Veterans eligible for this program are those who sustained a serious injury – including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder – incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001.
- Veterans eligible for this program must also be in need of personal care services because of an inability to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
- To be eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, Veterans must first be enrolled for VA health services, if not enrolled previously.
Services Available to Family Caregivers through this Program
The law will provide additional assistance to primary family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 veterans and service members. Services for this group include:
- Monthly stipend
- Travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying veterans undergoing care)
- Access to health care insurance (if the caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)
- Mental health services and counseling
- Comprehensive VA Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals
- Respite care (not less than 30 days per year)
If you think you fit the criteria for these services, please follow the link to answer some preliminary questions and download an application.
The application enables veterans to designate one primary family caregiver and up to two secondary family caregivers, if desired. Caregiver Support Coordinators are available at every VA Medical Center to assist veterans and their family caregivers with the application process. Bonnie Cecarelli, LCSW is the coordinator at VA Connecticut. She can be reached at 203-932-5711 ext. 2297. If you need the name of the coordinator at another VA facility, visit the Help Near Home page. Additional application assistance is available at 1-877-222 VETS (8387).
A Caregiver Support Group meets twice a month at the West Haven Campus on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 2pm. Contact Laura Blakley, Ph.D. or Dana Savo, RN at 203-932-5711 ext. 7260 for more information.
Read more about applying for the services in our Fact Sheet.