Steve Schwab: Breaking News! VA Secretary calls for thorough review of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Program for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
SPECIAL EPISODE. Many of you have heard me talk about the disappointment with the way the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has removed thousands of long term Military Veteran Caregivers who care for our wounded, ill and injured service members from their program. These Caregivers help oversee the medical treatment and various other ways our Military Veterans need assistance.
The removal has had a significant impact on the families who are affected by the removals, many of which took place just before the holiday season. I’ve received many messages and calls from caregivers over the last few months asking for my guidance or just someone to talk to. As you know, I was chosen in 2015-2016 to serve as an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow, representing the State of Florida and 5.5 million Military Veteran Caregivers Nationwide. I am now an Alumni Member of EDF and continue to advocate for our Nation’s Heroes and Caregivers as I am able.
***Thursday, February 18, 2021 we had a small victory. The VA Secretary called for a thorough review of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Program for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
I interviewed Steve Schwab from The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to discuss the major changes in the military veteran caregiver program at the VA. We also talk about the different services The Elizabeth Dole Foundation offers military veteran caregivers in the form of everything from financial support to respite, education and more.
Visit The Elizabeth Dole Foundation Website: www.elizabethdolefoundation.org
Email Steve: Steve@elizabethdolefoundation.org
Patti’s Website: www.PattiKatter.com
Thank you for valuable information. My stipend was tier 3 and was cut. We were told that my vet no longer qualified…it makes me mad because they served their country and now the government deems these vets are not worthy.
My husband has been in the program since the beginning at tier 3. Numerous home visits and annual assessments. Never even downgraded once. He has 13 service-connected disabilities and is 100% P&T. Like many other legacy participants, our “evaluation” was decided well before the first question was asked. It’s a purge, plain and simple to turn the program into a geriatric program. It’s the same way my husband gets discriminated against when he uses his handicap parking privileges because he looks younger. Many elderly people actually confront him and want to know what his disability is and say he can’t “park his daddy’s car there.” He kindly (not really) reminds them that it’s a handicap spot, not an elderly parking privilege.
Anyway, we appealed to the VHA clinical review. Denied again. The ONLY reason provided is that he “doesn’t require 6 continuous months of personal care services…”. What would you call the last 10 years?!? On top of that, we had 3 treating specialists directly refute that claim by writing letters saying he indeed needed not only 6 continuous months of care, but a need for supervision, protection, and instruction. This provision is being overlooked in these evaluations and only ADLs (of which he can’t perform many independently) is being taken into account. So we’ve decided to appeal to the Board (BVA). Hopefully they will exercise more common sense and follow the law, especially as it relates to benefit of the doubt. But I’m sure they will get so many appeals that even they will wonder WTF is going on! I feel like the legacy participants are being forgotten about and our sacrifices as caregivers swept under the rug. I fear for the safety of my veteran if I’m not around due to some of his more serious issues. I hope that we can get enough people to speak up so that it gets national attention and they put an end to these unjust discharges.
You know my story, Thank you for taking on this new fight for our Veteran families. 23.8 years and can never work again. Makes the veteran feel they were just a number and not a person. Not appreciated.