Caring for a U.S. veteran with mesothelioma can be physically, financially, and emotionally challenging. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides several benefits designed to give caregivers the support they need. Learn about mesothelioma VA caregiver benefits below.
What Are Mesothelioma VA Caregiver Benefits?
There are many VA benefits for mesothelioma victims who served in the U.S. military. Some of these benefits are available for their family members and caregivers.
The VA recognizes the important role that the caregivers of mesothelioma veterans have, and has built out a number of programs to support them.
The VA’s caregiver support services include:
- Building Better Caregivers online workshop
- Peer Support Mentoring Program
- Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
- REACH VA mentoring with a certified coach
- VA Caregiver Support Line
If a veteran you love has mesothelioma, it may be possible to file for VA benefits to access monthly payouts, medical care, and the caregiver resources listed above.
The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you start the application process for VA benefits. On-staff VA attorney and fellow U.S. veteran Eric Hall can walk you through the process. Get started right now.
Importance of VA Benefits for Caregivers
To help loved ones, caregivers must also take care of themselves. However, caring for someone who is sick or injured can be a challenge. Caregivers of veterans with mesothelioma may face depression, stress, lack of privacy, and sleep deprivation.
According to an AARP survey, 22% of caregivers report that their health has gotten worse as a result of caregiving.
VA benefits can help caregivers deal with these issues head-on. Caregivers of veterans with mesothelioma may receive up to 30 days of respite care (where another person takes care of the veteran), a monthly financial payout, health care, and more through the PCAFC and other benefits.
Who Is Eligible for VA Caregiver Benefits?
Most honorably discharged veterans qualify for some VA caregiver benefits. However, to receive benefits through the PCAFC, both the caretaker and veteran must meet certain eligibility criteria.
The primary caretaker must:
- Agree to perform personal care services for the veteran defined in a plan of care
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a member of the veteran’s family
- If not related to the veteran, live with the veteran or plan to live with them if needed
- Complete a caregiver training program
- Turn in the Application for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program (VA Form 10-10CG)
The veteran must:
- Be enrolled in the VA health care program
- Have a disability rating of 70% or higher
- Need at least 6 months of daily help due to a serious injury or illness
The VA provides benefits for one full-time caregiver and up to 2 secondary caregivers. These services are available to all qualifying veterans, no matter when they served, as of October 2022.
See if you qualify to access mesothelioma VA benefits. Contact us today.
Types of VA Caregiver Benefits
The VA offers numerous resources to caregivers of eligible veterans, including training, education, and many other tools. Learn about top VA caregiver benefits below.
Caregiver Support Line
Calling the VA Caregiver Support Line puts caregivers in touch with licensed professionals who can provide several means of support.
VA Caregiver Support Line professionals:
- Connect caregivers to a Caregiver Support Coordinator at the nearest VA medical center
- Connect caregivers to other VA services
- Listen with compassion to any hardships a caregiver is struggling with
- Provide monthly caregiver education groups over the phone
CHAMPVAThe VA offers health care benefits through CHAMPVA, or the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through this program, the VA covers the cost of some health care services and medical supplies.
Veterans and their families who don’t qualify for TRICARE (the Department of Defense’s health care program for active-duty and retired service members and their families) may be able to get health insurance through CHAMPVA.
Outside of CHAMPVA, PCAFC provides health care benefits for qualified caregivers. Spouse caregivers also may qualify for health care services through VA programs such as TRICARE and some pharmacy benefits.
Spouse caregivers and a veteran’s dependent children may qualify for help paying for school or job training through the VA Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship.
The VA also provides free caregiving educational materials and training through PCAFC, as well as a mentorship program, the Building Better Caregivers workshop, and the REACH VA coaching program.
Financial Support Options
The VA offers life insurance options, claims, and beneficiary assistance to spouses and dependent children of veterans.
The VA also created Caring for Your Finances, a video series that assists caregivers with finance-related issues.
Further, mesothelioma VA disability claims are often higher for veterans who need a caregiver.
The VA’s peer-support mentoring program trains and connects caregiver mentors to mentees looking for personal guidance and support with caregiving.
Participating caregivers commit to communicating with each other over email, phone, or by mail for at least 6 months.
The VA also offers a one-time connection with a mentor through their Compassionate Connections Program for caregivers who only want brief support.
Mental Health Services
The VA provides a number of programs designed to help caregivers deal with the emotional challenges of looking after a loved one.
Mental health counseling services available to caretakers include:
- VA Caregiver Support Program: A variety of training, education, and tools specifically designed to help the well-being of veteran caregivers.
- Coaching Into Care: Provides guidance for the family and friends of a veteran who is reluctant to reach out for mental health support.
- Real Warriors: Provides information and resources about psychological health, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury.
- Veterans Crisis Line: Connects veterans, service members in crisis, and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.
- War Vet Call Center: A confidential call center where combat veterans and their families can call to talk about any civilian readjustment challenges or anything about their military experience.
- Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC): Provides VA services, resources, and anonymous chat support to women veterans, their families, and caregivers.
Our team can help you file for mesothelioma VA caregiver benefits and access other top resources now.
The VA has several additional in-home and support services for caregivers and veterans.
These services include:
- Adult Day Health Care Centers: These centers provide a safe place for caretakers to bring veterans who spend most of their time at home. Here, veterans can participate in activities with peers while giving caretakers a little free time.
- Fisher House Program: Many mesothelioma veterans need to travel to a VA medical center for treatment. When they do, spouses, children, and other family caregivers are able to stay for free at a Fisher House within walking distance of the treatment facility.
- Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC): If a veteran is unable to travel, HBPC can provide regular health care at home. The program also provides physical rehabilitation, mental health care, social work, and VA and community service referrals.
- Home Hospice Care: This service provides 24/7 suffering relief and symptom control for veterans with less than 6 months to live. They also provide grief counseling to caretakers.
- Homemaker and Home Health Aides: For caretakers who need extra help assisting a loved one with daily needs such as bathing and dressing, the VA provides trained home health aides who are supervised by a registered nurse.
- Home Telehealth: Veteran caretakers who live far away from a VA medical center can use the Home Telehealth program to connect them with a care coordinator over the phone, computer, or another communication device. They can also receive education, training, and access to virtual support groups.
- Respite Care: Many caregivers experience burnout from their responsibilities. Through the VA, caregivers may receive up to 30 days a year to relax and regain their energy while their loved one is looked after at home or at a care center.
- Skilled Home Care: Similar to HBPC, this service provides home-based care for a veteran from a licensed non-VA medical professional.
The VA also provides home care supplies and equipment that veterans may need to maintain their health and quality of life.
Get a free veterans packet to learn about VA benefits and other important resources available to veterans.
How to Apply For Mesothelioma VA Caregiver Benefits
The VA provides several programs to help those caring for a mesothelioma veteran. However, caregivers must apply to access most of them.
To receive benefits, caregivers must:
- Fill out an application for PCAFC (VA Form 10-10CG)
- Sign and date the form (the veteran must do so as well)
- Mail the form and any supporting documents to PCAFC, or
- Apply in-person by bringing the form to their local VA caregiver support coordinator
Applying for benefits is one more task that caregivers may have to deal with — one that can be complicated and confusing. However, applying is not something you have to do alone. Reach out to our team now to find out about eligibility requirements and get help filing for mesothelioma VA benefits.
FAQs About Mesothelioma VA Caregiver Benefits
What is the monthly stipend for mesothelioma VA caregivers?
This depends on many factors that are unique to your case, but some monthly stipends can award thousands of dollars each month.
To get a better idea of how much money you could receive as a caregiver for a veteran with mesothelioma, speak with Eric Hall, a U.S. veteran and VA-accredited attorney. Contact us now.
When should I apply for VA mesothelioma caregiver benefits?
It may be a good idea to file for VA caregiver benefits as soon as possible. Doing so will allow you to get benefits as quickly as possible so you can help care for a veteran with mesothelioma.
To get started, call (877) 450-8973 now. Our team can also tell you about other VA benefits and mesothelioma resources you may qualify for.
Who qualifies to be a mesothelioma VA caregiver?
According to the VA, anyone over the age of 18 that is a family member or willing to live with a veteran with mesothelioma can be considered a caregiver. The veteran and the potential caretaker must both agree ahead of time before an official decision can be made.