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VA Halts All Removals from Caregiver Program

VA Halts All Removals from Caregiver Program

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation applauds Secretary McDonough, Deputy Secretary Remy, and the Administration for the decision announced today reversing course on the evaluation determinations and eligibility formula for caregivers applying for the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

Over the last six months, the Foundation and our close partners have held countless discussions with the VA voicing our deep concerns on the evaluation process and the negative consequences being felt largely by legacy post-9/11 caregivers and their veterans who are being removed from the program in large numbers.

Today, because of our collective efforts, thousands of veterans and their caregivers who were previously notified will not be transitioned from the program while a new evaluation and eligibility criteria are developed with the full engagement of the community. 

To ensure members of our community are aware, we’ve captured key highlights from a press conference hosted by Secretary McDonough and Deputy Secretary Remy this afternoon:

  • Deputy Secretary Remy announced VA “will not remove anyone or decrease support until we have reevaluated under new criteria,” for PCAFC legacy participants.
  • “To all of them, to anyone with concerns about supporting veterans, that is our top priority—to support our veterans,” said Deputy Secretary Remy. “We will continue to make sure veterans and their caregivers get the support they need and the support they deserve. We have to make sound decisions to address veterans’ concerns.”
  • A timeline for the new eligibility criteria “will take as long as it takes to get it right,” said Deputy Secretary Remy. “We are going to work through these eligibility criteria and make sure we have it structured in a way that it can be effective, it can be efficient, and we can deliver on our commitments.”
  • On the halting of removals of caregivers, “We thought it was the wise thing to do to make sure the decisions we’ve taken to date are consistent with the intent of Congress and consistent with President Biden’s demands of us,” said Secretary McDonough. “That we uphold our sacred obligations to veterans and, especially when you see as we do, caregivers being a fundamental part of the care team for the veterans.”

If you have any questions or comments about the outlined programmed changes, share them here. We will pull your questions together and get them answered ASAP.

Today’s action from the VA is a direct result of our collective efforts. We are proud of the veteran caregivers who worked with us to share their stories, engage with VA leadership, and speak to their elected representatives—because it worked.

The Foundation will continue our leadership on this effort to ensure we get this right for the millions of families we serve.