Shea-Porter Statement on the Passage of the Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released the following statement regarding yesterday’s passage of the Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act:

 

“This bill will help provide care for disabled, ill, or injured veterans and their families,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “Ensuring our veterans are properly cared for is the greatest way we can honor their service.”

 

The Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act will:

 

create a new caregiver program to help family and non-family members who provide care for disabled, ill, or injured veterans enrolled in the VA health care system;

 

provide support services to family and non-family caregivers of veterans, including educational sessions on how to be a better caregiver;

 

make counseling and mental health services available to family and non-family caregivers of veterans;

 

provide respite care for caregivers and require that the VA ensures that respite care meets the needs of the veteran receiving care;

 

provide a monthly financial stipend to primary family caregivers to veterans deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom, who have a severe service-connected injury or illness, are unable to carry out activities of daily living, and are in need of caregiver services, such that without them the veteran would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care -- through October 1, 2012;

 

expand CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs) to primary family caregivers who provide caregiver services to those severely injured or ill veterans who are unable to carry out activities of daily living and who are without health insurance or are not eligible for other public health insurance options through October 1, 2012;

 

provide lodging and subsistence to attendants who: accompany severely injured or ill veterans who are unable to carry out activities of daily living and are traveling for health care evaluation and treatments at VA facilities, and

 

require the VA to design and conduct a survey on caregivers within the VA system no later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the Act and at least once every three-year period thereafter.