Transition to Home
Your service member’s recovery will help determine when/if your service member is able to transition home or to a permanent facility. Below you will find resources and benefits available to help you aid your service member in their recovery. Some families find it helpful to research the available resources before relocating the service member. Depending on the service member’s injury, illness, or wound, a particular location may have better support for the service member than your “home.”
For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created pilot programs in a variety of locations to provide training and resources to caregivers. Examples include: Education to help caregivers manage stress and 24 hour respite care. Ask what the VA may be piloting at your assigned VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. Additionally, there are more than 800 Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) across the country. These clinics provide the most common outpatient services, including health and wellness visits, without the hassle of visiting a larger medical center. Check to see if a CBOC provides the support your service member needs.
It is recommended that you access a copy of the The Wounded, Ill, and Injured Compensation and Benefits Handbook. It provides service members and their families’ access to vital information they may need during recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration. It is also available as an App.
VA Caregiver Benefit
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation providing a new Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Caregiver program. The law provides for a variety of benefits and access to services and programs to assist caregivers in providing care to their wounded veteran. Caregiver benefits are determined by the eligibility of the veteran and caregiver. To determine if you are eligible, learn more about this new benefit, and how to apply, go to: www.caregiver.va.gov or contact the VA’s Caregiver Support Line at 855.260.3274.
VA Volunteer Support Caregiver Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Voluntary Service (VAVS) and the Office of Care Coordination (OCC) joined together to form the Caregiver Support Network. The Caregiver Support Network is designed to help volunteers provide compassionate support to those caregivers who care for homebound veterans. The role of the “Volunteer Support Caregiver” is to help assist veteran care recipients, their primary caregivers, and their family in dealing with daily challenges. Each volunteer undergoes a complete background check before becoming a volunteer. The volunteer lives in your local community and provides up to 8 hours per week of free respite care for primary caregivers. Contact your local VA’s Volunteer Service Department about utilizing a Volunteer Support Caregiver.
Employment Opportunities for Caregivers
Caregivers may look for new employment opportunities that allow the caregiver to take care of the service member and contribute to their family’s financial well-being. Some find flexible work hours, part-time work, or telecommuting opportunities to be ideal. It may be helpful to verify your eligibility for the expanded FMLA benefit before seeking new employment opportunities.
Spouses often ask how they can find work after their service member is injured. Military OneSource offers practical tips and includes information on entering the work force when your spouse has been severely injured.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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