Sec. Shulkin supports extending caregiver benefits under the following conditions:
- The current 26,000 caregivers should be protected from the following changes.
- Current caregiver fall under Tier 1 which provides the benefit if your injuries prevent you from performing 1 activity of daily living.
- Proposed caregiver changes would fall under Tier 3 which requires if you injuries prevent you from performing 3 activities of daily living.
Providing the benefit program as Sec. Shulkin lays out would make an additional 40,000 veterans eligible. If the benefits were extended to Post 9/11 without the changes 188,000 veterans would be eligible.
“…if starting with Tier 3 is what we have to do to start, we absolutely support that. It just won’t be the end of the conversation”. Sarah Dean of PVA
“… wants to explore a timeline on how we move beyond Tier 3 and make sure that all pre-9/11 caregivers who need and deserve support with this benefit receive it (but) yeah, I think we’re open to that …”. Steven Schwab of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation
DAV also didn’t reject Shulkin’s plan, noting that critically important benefits for veterans often start by Congress “making incremental improvements.” But lawmakers shouldn’t delay more actions to ensure every veteran “is equitably treated,”. Adrian Atizado Disabled American Veterans
“We should be working to expand support for veterans’ caregivers, not restricting it even further,” Murray said. “I absolutely oppose this … and I will fight against it any way I can in the Senate.” Senator Murray rejects Shulkin’s compromise.
“Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many activities of daily living a veteran isn’t able to perform. What matters is if they need the assistance of a caregiver. And there are some cases where being unable to perform one ADL — eating or going to the bathroom or another activity — requires the assistance of a caregiver,” he said. “Doctors certainly should receive more guidance as to how to make those determinations,” Fuentes said. “But we think that savings [through cost avoidance] can be achieved by extending eligibility criteria as is.” Carlos Fuentes Veterans of Foreign War
Veteran representatives spent much of their time before the House committee knocking down claims by Republicans that the current caregiver program is widely abused or offers benefits duplicative of other VA programs.
Read the full article at the link below:
In drafting legislation that would expand comprehensive caregiver benefits to severely injured veterans of all past wars, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, directed staff this month to start with the proposal announced by VA Secretary David Shulkin at a Feb. 6 committee hearing.