VA Caregiver Support Program
VA Caregiver Support Program (CSP) - Announcements
Caregiver Support Program (CSP) Announcements!
- PCAFC - VA will no longer issue paper checks after October 1, 2023
- PCAFC - Improved Communication for Caregiver Decision Reviews
- VA Caregiver Support Stipend Scams
- PCAFC Eligibility – Then & Now
- PCAFC - Phase II Expansion
- PCAFC - Reassessment Update
- PCAFC - Appeal Options
Any caregiver receiving paper checks from VA as part of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) must enroll in direct deposit by October 1 to continue receiving stipend benefits.
Caregivers can enroll in direct deposit as a vendor through VA’s Customer Engagement Portal. To complete the required form, caregivers will need their social security number, address, and bank routing and account numbers. Step-by-step instructions for enrolling can be found in the CSP Direct Deposit Enrollment User Guide. (PDF)
For caregivers that don’t already have a bank account, the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) can connect them with a bank for help setting up an account. Caregivers may contact the FSC Customer Care Center for help at 1-877-353-9791.
Improved Communication for Caregiver Decision Reviews in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) participants can now get information about where their claim is in the 4-step review or appeal process via the Caregiver Support Line (CSL) at 1-855-260-3274.
The four stages are:
1. Pending intake – VHA CSP has received the individual’s request and will review it to determine if it meets specific requirements, including but not limited to, required signatures, required identifying information, and required supporting documentation, as applicable. Once the packet clears the intake process it will be placed in queue for assignment and will be worked in the order in which it was received.
2. In Queue for Assignment – The intake process has been completed, and the request is now in the queue for assignment to a reviewer.
3. Assigned and Under Review – The intake process has been completed, the request has been assigned to a reviewer, and it is now under review.
4. Decision Issued – This means a decision has been issued on the matter and the decision letter mailed. The individual can expect to receive the letter within 10-14 business days of the date of mailing.
Caregivers and Veterans, recently we learned of a potential scam that included an “e-mail “ about VA Caregiver stipend recoupment and another potential scam that included a “text” asking for personal information to set up an informal meeting.
If you receive a suspicious email, or text from anyone representing the Department of Veterans Affairs, DO NOT respond to the text, DO NOT open the email or click on any attachments or links. VA does not send emails or texts asking for personal information. In addition, VA does not send threatening emails, or emails claiming to take adverse actions on claimants or beneficiaries (jail or lawsuits). If you receive any of these suspicious texts or emails, or are in doubt about any suspicious communication appearing to be from VA, please contact VA directly at 1 (800) 827-1000.
Protect yourself against potential scams with these tips:
- Do not provide personal, benefits, medical or financial details online or over the phone. Federal agencies will not contact you unless you make a request.
- Do not click on online ads or engage with social media that seem suspicious.
- Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts.
- Do not respond to suspicious texts.
- Work with Veteran service providers you already know.
On March 25, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision that set aside VA's definition of “need for supervision, protection, or instruction.” As a result of this decision, VA has made changes to the criteria used to evaluate eligibility for PCAFC when making determinations issued under PCAFC regulations that became effective on October 1, 2020. This is the only criteria that has changed.
Evaluation of PCAFC eligibility includes, among several other criteria, whether the individual is in need of personal care services based on any one of the following as seen in this graphic:
If Veteran or caregiver received a decision under PCAFC based, in part, on VA’s definition of need for supervision, protection, or instruction and disagree with that decision, individuals have options to seek further review of that decision. For more information see PCAFC decisions and PCAFC Eligibility Criteria Fact Sheet (pdf).
VA begin Phase II Expansion of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers PCAFC on October 1, 2022. This phase will open PCAFC to Veterans who served after May 7, 1975 and before September 11, 2001, making Veterans of all eras eligible to apply to PCAFC. In preparation, CSP engaged in a robust recruitment effort to ensure adequate staff are in place and have completed training to enable timely processing of PCAFC applications.
VA is committed to supporting Veterans and their Family Caregivers by listening to concerns raised and working diligently to address them as we continue to ensure Veterans and their caregivers get the support they need and deserve. VA halted discharges for all participants based on reassessment and undertook an effort to put meaningful solutions in place that will have an immediate and positive impact on current and new caregivers and Veterans participating in PCAFC.
No Legacy Veteran or caregiver has been dropped from the PCAFC based on reassessment since October 1, 2020, and—as we just announced—this cohort will remain enrolled in PCAFC and continue to receive support and services under PCAFC for at least the next three years.
If you disagree, in whole or in part, with a decision under the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), there are options available for you to appeal or to request a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) review of the decision.
Call VA’s Caregiver Support Line (CSL) at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you, and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Team/Coordinator, at your local VA Medical Center.
VA CSL Expanded hours:
-Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET
-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
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