After weeks of discussions between Congressional staff members and VSO partners, culminating in 11th hour conversations between Senator Elizabeth Dole and Congressional leadership, we are disappointed that the expansion of the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to veterans of all eras of service was not included in the final omnibus package released today. This would have been an historic opportunity to significantly increase services and support for caregivers of all eras, and we are dismayed that it fell off the agenda. We are heartened, however, that leaders on both sides of the aisle have expressed their unwavering commitment to ensuring the passage of this legislation.
Today, there are 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers in the United States, who are delivering upwards of $14 billion per year in uncompensated care to veterans of all generations. Providing support for pre-9/11 caregivers is long overdue and we are recommitting ourselves to the search for an immediate solution.
Our thanks to Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, as well as Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for their support in this process, and their steadfast dedication to America’s military and veteran caregivers. We encourage all Members of Congress to recommit themselves to supporting the expansion of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance to Family Caregivers.