Southern Views

The Veterans Administration is announcing the start of a new program. As of May 9th, they’ll be accepting applications from family caregivers of post 9/11 veterans for stipends, training and other services.

VA now provides additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver. Eligible primary Family Caregivers can receive a stipend, training, mental health services, and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan. Applications can be made starting May 9, 2011.

Assistance with the application process is available. Caregiver Support Coordinators are stationed at every VA Medical Center; or dial toll-free 1-877-222 VETS (8387).

Who would dispute this is a good idea? Only people who have convinced themselves that being independent and incompetent is a great way to live, as long as it doesn’t affect them.

Caregivers assist those who are chronically ill, disabled, or are getting older and are no longer able to care for themselves. Caregiving includes helping with personal needs or household chores, as well as managing a person’s finances, arranging for outside services, or visiting regularly to see how the individual is doing. Caregivers are generally unpaid family members or friends (though they may be paid professionals) who provide care to their loved one. You do not need to live with a person to be considered a caregiver and many people who serve as a caregiver do not recognize themselves as such – you may simply think you’re “helping out.”

It’s too bad that the program is limited to the veterans from recent conflicts, but it’s a start. What I like about distributing funds to individual households is that it promotes diversification of care providers, instead of institutional monopolies (human husbandry), and, perhaps even more important, provides yet another avenue to get money flowing through the economy. Because, after all, every penny of these stipends is going to be spent as quickly as it comes in, helping our economy get unstuck.

The location of VA facilities in every state can be found here.
Additional information here.
Support for veterans of all eras here. I think what’s different about the new program is the family stipend.


Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."