VA Processing Hundreds of Applications for

New Family Caregiver Benefits in First Week

WASHINGTON (May 18, 2011)- In the first week for open applications, the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has assisted more than 625 Veterans,
Servicemembers and their Family Caregivers in applying for new services
under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010.

"We are off to a good start having helped hundreds to apply, but we know
there are thousands more who will qualify and need to apply today," said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "I encourage eligible
Veterans and their Family Caregivers to apply now to receive the
benefits they have earned."

New services for primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11
Veterans include a stipend, mental health services, and access to health
care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services
under a health plan. The stipend portion of this service will be
backdated to the date of the application. Comprehensive Caregiver
training and medical support are other key components of this program.

VA began processing applications for eligible post-9/11 Veterans and
Servicemembers to designate a Primary Family Caregiver on May 9, 2011.
On top of receiving the 625 plus applications, Caregiver Support
Coordinators have also assisted nearly 1,200 other Caregivers in finding
more than two dozen other Caregiver benefits VA provides.

Applications can be processed by telephone through the Caregiver Support
Line at (855) 260-3274, in person at a VA medical Center with a
Caregiver Support Coordinator, or by mail
with the new Caregiver Application (VA Form 1010)