Washington, D.C. - Ahead of Memorial Day, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) revealed that the Trump Administration abruptly denied Pennsylvania veterans access to the VA Family Caregiver Assistance Program. A new report, issued by Casey, shows that veterans across the country have been cast out of the program despite growing need. Casey also introduced the Supporting Veteran Caregivers Act, which would require the VA to evaluate these discharges and ensure that Veterans and their caregivers were not deprived of assistance.
“As we head into Memorial Day, it’s clear the Administration is falling short on ensuring that our veterans have access to this program,” Senator Casey said. “If the Administration won’t get its act together, Congress should. My legislation would ensure our veterans have access to this program. We owe them this and so much more.”
More on Casey’s Report:
The report issued by Senator Casey examines how the VA failed to establish standard processes for eligibility redeterminations and discharges in the VA Family Caregiver Assistance Program. This failure has resulted in thousands of Veterans and their caregivers being abruptly discharged from the program or receiving reduced support. After recognizing these inconsistencies, the VA has failed to reevaluate the cases of the thousands of Veterans that were discharged from the program or had their benefits reduced. The report is accompanied by data provided by the VA detailing discharges that occurred between January 2017 and March 2019.
More on the Supporting Veteran Caregivers Act:
In Pennsylvania, there was a 62% increase in the number of Veterans discharged from the Caregivers program between FY 2017 and FY 2018. The legislation introduced today would require the VA to reevaluate the cases of all Veterans and their caregivers that were discharged from the program or had their benefits reduced on or after January 1, 2015. Where the VA’s evaluation reveals that a discharge or downgrade in benefits was improperly made, the legislation directs the VA to offer that Veteran and their caregiver reinstatement in the program or renewal of benefits, and ensures that that the Veteran and their caregiver receive the assistance that they were entitled to during the period that they were improperly denied assistance.
The report is available here.
More information on the legislation is available here.