Caregiving and Mental Illness
Need strategies to ground you as you care for someone with mental illness?
VA supports family caregivers
#BeCareCurious for your Veteran's care and your own. Explore support services for caregivers.
Peer Support Mentoring
Caregivers find friendship and support through Peer Support Mentoring. Read Gary's story.
SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS
As a family caregiver you play an important role in caring for the Veteran at home and in the community.
VA has two programs for caregivers: The Program of General Caregiver Support Services (eligible Veterans all eras) and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (eligible post-9/11 Veterans). We appreciate you and we are here to help you!
Am I a "Caregiver"?
Often people do not identify themselves as a “caregiver.” Caregivers are daughters, wives, husbands, sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, partners and friends. Caregivers manage a wide range of responsibilities.
Here’s how you know if you are in a caregiver role. Do you assist a Veteran who needs help to:
• Make medical appointments or drive to the doctor?
• Drive to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions?
• Get dressed, take a shower, or take medication?
• Get in and out of bed?
• Complete physical therapy or give injections?
• Feed self, with feeding tubes or complete similar procedures at home?
• Talk with doctors, nurses, social workers, and others to understand about their medical care or benefits?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are a caregiver and may be eligible for caregiver services at VA.
All Era Veterans
The Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) provides caregivers of enrolled Veterans with:
• Information/Referral to in-home or support services, support groups and other resources
• Education and training on how best to care for yourself and your Veteran loved one
• Peer support to learn from and gain support from other caregivers
• Mental health counseling (if need is related to the Veteran’s condition)
• Programs that focus on caregiver self-care
No formal application is required. Click here to learn if you qualify and how to enroll in General Caregiver Support Services, for Caregivers.
Learn about the various VA In-Home & Support Services for Veterans, with Family Caregivers.
Served on or after 9/11
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is only available to eligible seriously injured post 9/11 Veterans. In addition to all services under the General Program, eligible caregivers may receive:
• Financial monthly stipend
• Health insurance (if eligible)
• Beneficiary Travel benefits (if eligible)
• Mental health services
• Respite care to get a break for no less than 30 days
To start the application process, caregivers and Veterans must complete VA Form 1010CG, Application for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Click here to learn if you qualify and how to apply.
The MISSION Act - gives Veterans greater access to health care and, expands benefits for caregivers. Caregiver Support Program MISSION Act - Frequently Askeded Questions
Each VA Medical Center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator available to assist you with enrolling in these programs. For help, contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator using the Caregiver Support Coordinator search tool, or call the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 (toll free 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET).