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VA Caregiver Program

Some Veteran Caregivers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine through VA

Some Veteran Caregivers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine through VA

The move is the result of a coalition of veterans groups that lobbied for the caregivers to be sent to the top of the vaccine list, arguing that they deserved to be included in the first wave of medical professionals being protected against the deadly illness, says Military Times’ recent article entitled “Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA.”

Dr. Richard Stone, executive in charge of the VA, released a memo stating that those registered with the department’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers can be given the vaccine “in a coordinated manner with the veterans for whom they provide care.”

More than 6,700 VA patients have died from COVID complications in the last 10 months. Stone’s memo states that decisions will be made “in balance with site-specific resources, needs, vaccine availability, hesitancy to accept the vaccine and status of the pandemic locally.”

In an interview with Military Times, Stone commented that he is shifting many of those vaccination decisions to local officials to give coverage to more individuals.

“We need to leave it up to people at the bedsides, to make sure they are making the best decisions for veterans,” he said. “When someone brings a veteran in to give them the vaccine, they can easily identify what the other needs are.”

Roughly 20,000 veterans are registered in the caregiver program at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This program provides monthly stipends and other support to individuals providing regular medical assistance to infirm veterans.

The data shows that the majority of this group are family members of post-9/11 veterans. The caregiver assistance program was expanded last fall to veterans who served before May 1975.

And recently, a coalition of veteran groups, including The Independence Fund, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Non-Commissioned Officers Association sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials asking them to authorize the VA to administer the caregiver vaccines, under its role as the lead coordinator of federal response to the pandemic.

Dr. Stone said as of January 13, VA officials had administered the first dose of the two-part vaccine to more than 332,000 department health care employees and veterans at high-risk of contracting coronavirus. Another 45,000 individuals have already received their second dose. The vaccine has been sent to nearly 200 department facilities. However, officials have warned that it could be months before they can administer the more than 7 million vaccines they expect to be requested by veterans and staff.

Reference: Military Times (Jan. 14, 2021) “Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA”

Read more related articles here:

Veteran caregivers can receive COVID-19 testing, vaccinations

VA to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to caregivers of Veterans in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

VA to vaccinate veteran caregivers after policy change

Also read one of our previous blogs at:

What are the Issues with COVID Vaccinations Sign-ups for Seniors?

Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.

 

veterans benefits planning in Jacksonville, Florida

Scams are Being Perpetrated on Veterans, Active Military and Their Families

The scam victims who were military personnel, veterans or their spouses reported higher median losses than non-military consumers, the BBB said.

nj.com says in its recent article entitled “Veterans warned to beware of scams that target military families” that a common scam is “pension poaching,” which targets elderly and disabled veterans and their families.

The Better Business Bureau says that unethical financial planners, insurance agents, or other entities may claim they can help their marks apply for Veterans Affairs benefits programs, sometimes charging large advance fees.

These scammers may actually be trying to get veterans to move their assets to try to gain benefits they can’t qualify for, allowing the poacher to profit at the veteran’s expense.

New York recently passed legislation called the Pension Poaching Prevention Act that is designed to protect veterans from scammers. The bill restricts who can receive compensation for preparing benefits.

Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth), who serves as chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs committee, was asked if New Jersey is working on similar legislation.

“Through their service and sacrifice, our veterans earn an array of well-deserved benefits – but that too often makes them prime targets for scammers and con artists,” Gopal said in an email. “Right now, we’re working to push a bill — S2838 — that would require telecom companies to warn their customers about potential scams or fraud risks. That’s an invaluable tool to many New Jerseyans – and especially older residents – who are finding themselves lost in an ocean of robocalls and scammers.”

Senator Gopal said he will review efforts by New York and other states “to see how New Jersey can continue to defend our veterans and keep their benefits safe.”

Reference: nj.com (Nov. 11, 2019) “Veterans warned to beware of scams that target military families”

For information related to Florida visit: Military and Veteran Consumer Protection

You can also read a previous blog we’ve posted entitled: What Types of Long Term Care is available for Veterans

 

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