News Releases

Legislation expands VA’s Caregiver Program to veterans of all eras
 
Murray’s proposal received strong support from veteran advocates
 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation that includes Sen. Patty Murray’s proposal to expand the VA’s comprehensive caregivers program to veterans of all eras. Currently, only post-9/11 veterans are eligible for the comprehensive program, which provides resources and guidance to family members and friends of veterans who care for wounded, ill, or injured veterans. A 2014 RAND study, commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, found caregivers often face greater rates of depression, divorce, issues in the workplace, and financial difficulty.

“I believe that when we ask service members to fight for us, we promise that we will fight for them by providing the best care possible when they come home. And quite often, that care comes from people who are closest to them—spouses, parents, and children—all of whom sacrifice their own jobs and even their own health to look after their loved one,” Senator Murray said. “So while military caregivers don’t necessarily wear uniforms or go overseas, they absolutely serve our country and we should support them by doing what we can to make their lives a little easier.”

"Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) strongly supports expansion of the Family Caregiver Program,” said Carl Blake, Associate Executive Director, Government Relations, Paralyzed Veterans of America. “No group of veterans understands the value of caregivers more than PVA’s members- veterans with a spinal cord injury or disease. Most are ineligible for desperately needed caregiver services because they were injured on or before September 10, 2001. It is time to end this inequity once and for all. Caregivers are the most critical component of rehabilitation and eventual recovery for veterans with catastrophic injuries. Their well-being directly impacts the quality of care provided to veterans.  PVA applauds the work of the committee for seeing that these veterans and their caregivers receive the support they have earned and deserve."  

 

Sen. Murray’s provision is included in S. 425, the Veterans Homeless Programs, Caregiver Services, and Other Improvements Acts of 2015.