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.
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:
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.