Can a Family Caregiver Get Paid by the VA?

April Sluder
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn about how the VA pays caregivers of veterans.
Published
August 9, 2022
Last updated
7
min read
Finance

Can a Family Caregiver Get Paid by the VA?

April Sluder
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn about how the VA pays caregivers of veterans.
Published
August 9, 2022
Last updated
7
min read
Finance
Can a Family Caregiver Get Paid by the VA?

Your parent spent their lives serving our country. Now they need someone to take care of them. As the primary family caregiver, you play a vital role in caring for your parent’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Many adult children wonder how to get paid to be a caregiver for their parents. After all, caring daily for a loved one takes a massive financial and physical toll. Read more to find out how to get paid, the family caregiver pay rate, and what you need to do to receive vital assistance from the VA. 

How Does the VA Pay the Caregiver?

If you are the primary family caregiver, you may be eligible for monthly compensation. Your parent will need to enroll in the Caregiver Support Program. Your family member must be an eligible veteran. There are a few qualifications for being eligible for this program: 

  • To be eligible, the veteran needs a VA disability rating of seventy percent or more
  • Any disabilities made during active duty must have been made worse either on or after September 11, 2001 or on or before May 7, 1975
  • The VA must determine their service-connected disability is “substantial”
  • Your parent needs to have been discharged or medically discharged
  • Your family member requires a minimum of six months of in-person caregiving

While you and your siblings may share responsibility for caring for your veteran parent, only one person can be the primary family caregiver. You will need to sit down and discuss this with your family members. Who is eligible to be the primary family caregiver?

  • Spouse, daughter, son, parent
  • Stepfamily
  • Veteran’s extended family
  • A family caregiver who lives with your parent full time

The primary family caregiver must be at least 18 years old. Your parent can designate a secondary caregiver. While the secondary caregiver does not receive the same benefits as the primary caregiver, they might be eligible for voluntary counseling, training, financial assistance, and lodging. 

In addition to receiving monthly benefits, the Primary Family Caregiver might be eligible for CHAMPA, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs. Caregiving takes a lot of energy. Because of this, the VA might also provide up to thirty days of respite yearly. The stipend and benefits are not taxable income. 

Get paid for caring
Get Paid

Get paid for caring

Taking care of a loved one? Givers helps unpaid family caregivers seamlessly access benefits dollars they didn't know exists.
Start Saving
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How Much Does a Caregiver Get from the VA?

Your parent’s Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) will evaluate your parent’s dependency. They will score your family member’s need for supervision. They assess everything from their physical condition and limitations to their neurological state. After evaluation, the PACT determines the level of care needed: 

  1. High Tier: forty hours a week
  2. Medium Tier: up to twenty-five hours per week
  3. Low Tier; Up to ten hours a week

The final stipend amount for the Primary Family Caregiver is determined by this formula: 

Home Health Aide Hourly Wage X Weekly Hours X 4.35 weeks = Monthly Stipend

The VA measures the family caregiver pay rate based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Skill code 311011 rate for home health aides based on the geographic region. Once the VA approves the application, the Primary Family will receive payments. The payments backdate retroactively from when you first applied for the stipend. 

This amount is for a veteran that is deemed “unable to self-sustain” without help, or Level 2. For veterans that are Level 1 (or able to self-sustain) the caregiver receives up to 62.5% of the monthly stipend rate.

Hourly Wage

Weekly Hours

Weeks

Monthly Stipend

$10

10 (Low Tier Level 2)

4.35

$435

$12

40 (High Tier Level 2)

4.35

$2088

$10

20 (Low Tier Level 2)

4.35

$870

$12

30 (Medium Tier Level 1)

4.35

($1566 X .625)

= $978.75

Meet the first card for caregivers
Caregiver Savings

Meet the first card for caregivers

Get your card and silo your spending. We'll analyze and find you savings.
Learn More
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How Long Does It Take for the VA to Approve a Caregiver?

The entire application process should take approximately ninety days. At the end of ninety days, the VA will contact you with the result of the application review. If you have any issues, contact the office and a representative can help answer your questions about your application.

Is the VA Caregiver Stipend Hard to Get? 

Like with many government assistance programs, family caregivers must follow a tedious application process to receive benefits. You must apply together with your veteran parent. Your parent must enroll in the VA health care program for you to receive any benefits. Even if you do not receive the monthly stipend, the VA does offer many other services and support. Call the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (855-260-3274) for additional help and to connect with a local Caregiver Support Coordinator. 

If you have had trouble in the past or want help in the future accessing VA caregiver benefits, Givers can help you streamline the entire process.

Share this article
Get more articles like this
You got it! We'll occasionally send you new articles.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
April Sluder

April Sluder

April is a Licensed Social Worker and Caregiving Coach and Community Manager at Givers. April has over two decades of experience supporting patients and their family caregivers from her time in healthcare, most recently doing medicare & medicaid member outreach at Humana, and building and managing her own condition-specific Facebook group of 1600+ women.

Givers helps people taking care of loved ones save thousands.

No savings, no cost to you. Period.