President Obama has signed S. 1963, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, into law.
Provisions in the act call for the government to provide health benefits, training, respite care and, in some cases, cash stipends for individuals who provide home care for seriously disabled military veterans.
One section applies to caregivers who are caring for veterans, or active-duty members of the Armed Forces who are in the process of undergoing medical discharge, who, as a result of a serious injury “incurred incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after” Sept. 11, 2001, are unable to perform one or more activities of daily living; need constant supervision or protection; or are in need of care because of “such other matters as the secretary [of Defense] considers appropriate,” according to the text of the act.
Caregivers caring for veterans who became disabled during earlier eras may be able to get respite care, training services and counseling services.
The new caregivers act also is supposed to create a pilot program that would provide dental benefits for military veterans, survivors, and dependents of veterans.
Still another provision prohibits the Department of Veterans Affairs from collecting co-payments from veterans who are catastrophically disabled.