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How Much Do VA Family Caregivers Get Paid?

Those who served their country can access programs to support their everyday living, including paying their family caregiver. Discover different VA programs that help family caregivers get paid.

Reviewed by
Kate Grayson

Veteran Affairs offers resources to support those taking care of disabled veterans. Keep reading to discover different VA programs that help family caregivers get paid.

It's no secret that veterans can have complex care needs. Those who served their country can access programs to support their everyday living, including paying their family caregiver. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers many opportunities for family caregivers to receive monthly compensation through VA-directed programs. But how much does the VA pay a caregiver? We've listed some of the main VA stipends below.

Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)

The PCAFC targets the primary and secondary family caregivers of eligible veterans who have a substantial disability and require in-person caregiving for a minimum of six months. A family caregiver is paid by a measure of estimated hours of care needed each week multiplied by the hourly wage of a home health aide provider, as determined by your specific state. Approval as a designated primary caregiver requires you to be a spouse, child, parent, or extended family member of the eligible veteran and to be living full-time with them.

The level of financial support the VA provides is based on the classification of your loved one's disability. This includes diagnosis and severity, which reflects the extent of support required. The Veteran's Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) evaluates the type of stipend a dependent veteran qualifies for. The maximum monthly stipend is valued at $2,750.

VA Caregiver Tier 1 Pay

Level 1 stipends are provided to VA family caregivers who look after disabled veterans who require less extensive care than the general cohort and are not "unable to self-sustain." These payments are valued at up to 62.5% of the monthly stipend rate. 

VA Caregiver Tier 2 Pay

Level 2 stipends are provided to VA family caregivers with a high level of dependency who are "unable to self-sustain." This demands more extensive supervision and everyday assistance. These payments are valued at 100% of the monthly stipend rate.

Some qualities PACT uses to gauge the appropriate stipend level for your veteran include the unassisted completion of daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom, feeding, and moving. This must amount to a VA disability rating of 70 percent or higher. 

Additionally, the disability must be connected to active duty, and the veteran must be discharged as a result. The veteran must have served either on or after September 11, 2001 or on or before May 7, 1975. For more information, check out the PCAFC here.

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs (CHAMPVA)

CHAMPVA is a beneficiary that offers a cost-sharing service to reduce the financial burden of health care services for disabled veterans. As a family caregiver, you can apply for monetary benefits to cover the cost of some of your loved one's medical bills, including prescription medicines, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and both inpatient and outpatient services. Up to 75% of the allowed amount for covered services and supplies can be paid through CHAMPVA. 

To qualify for this program, you must not be eligible for TRICARE and be the spouse or child of a veteran with a permanent service-connected disability. You may use CHAMPVA in conjunction with PCAFC to cover your expenses as a family caregiver. Read more about CHAMPVA here.

Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance

The VA provides a monthly allowance through Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits to assist with finances associated with veteran care. Veterans already receiving a VA pension who requires a caregiver to help perform daily activities or who is otherwise bed-bound for a large portion of the day may be eligible for further monetary support through these monthly stipends. These permanent disabilities must be rated as 100 percent disabling by the VA. 

As a family caregiver, you can get paid through this stipend as the primary provider of caregiving services. As these benefits are added onto standard pension payment amounts, their total value will differ from veteran to veteran. These pensions can provide up to $2,431 per month for care funding. For two married veterans, this can increase to $3,253 per month. Before applying, keep in mind that you can only receive one of these benefits simultaneously. Find out more information as to which benefit suits you here.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

To give disabled veterans the option to avoid institutionalization in their treatment plans, the VA established HCBS, allowing them to receive care from the comfort of their homes. The HCBS utilizes the Veteran-Directed Care Program to preserve patient autonomy, meaning veterans earn a budget to pay for any care assistance they require. Family caregivers can get paid through the Veteran-Directed Care Program as their veteran loved one can redirect funding to any primary caregiver. 

This way, family caregivers earn an hourly rate of approximately $8-$21 per hour, much like an outsourced caregiver would. HCBS accommodates the growing preference for community-based and self-directed care, within which family caregivers play an instrumental role. You can learn more about this program here.

Veterans and their family members are entitled to benefits in compensation for the financial burden of service-associated disabilities. The VA endeavors to provide disabled veterans with the proper care, including their family caregivers' support. 

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