The VA revealed this week that the first of a two-phase expansion of its comprehensive family caregiver support program will be delayed-yet again.
To avoid lengthy delays in processing applications and providing support services to family caregivers, the VA MISSION Act of 2018, requires VA to first “implement” and then “certify” a new IT solution to manage the expansion of the program to all severely injured veterans who depend on family caregivers.
Once the IT solution is certified by VA, the first phase of expansion would begin by accepting applications from veterans who were severely injured in the Vietnam War and earlier. The second phase would begin two years after the date of certification for veterans severely injured between May 1975 and September 2001.
When VA missed the first IT “implementation” deadline of October 1, 2018, VA officials gave assurances they were working to meet the next and more important “certification” deadline of October 1, 2019. The VA now says they are working to certify the IT solution by June 2020, a full eight months later. Even this new deadline is uncertain and it is unclear today whether VA has even implemented the new IT solution to test its capabilities in supporting the caregiver program expansion.
We urge you to visit your elected officials during the week of March 18-22, while they are in your district, or use the prepared email or write your own to contact your elected officials to voice your concern over another delay by VA in supporting dedicated family caregivers who for decades have sacrificed so much of themselves to care for their severely injured veteran.