Senator welcomed VA’s announcement – following Sinema’s repeated urging – halting the discharge of participants in the VA Family Caregivers Program as changes are implemented
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema shared during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing how the VA Caregivers Program serves as a lifeline for Arizona veterans and their caregivers. Sinema welcomed VA’s announcement that it will halt the discharge of legacy participants in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
“I’m encouraged to see that the VA is changing course after feedback from veterans, caregivers, and Members of Congress. For over a decade, the Caregivers Program has been a critical lifeline for those seriously wounded in the Global War on Terror. The Caregivers Program was designed to support veterans, and does so by providing flexibility to their loved ones who provide hours of daily care,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Sinema highlighted during the hearing how she and her team have repeatedly heard about concerns from Arizona veterans and their caregivers on how they will get by if they are removed from the program. Sinema asked the witnesses participating in the hearing, including from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Independence Fund and others, how to ease the transition if caregivers are removed from the program in the future and need to re-enter the workforce. The Senator also urged more open communication between the VA and Caregivers Program participants to ensure proper and appropriate planning.
In February, Sinema called on the VA to improve its Caregivers Program for Arizona veterans and their families by better communicating with veterans and their families as changes to the Caregivers Program are implemented. In her letter, Sinema recommended to the VA solutions on how to better communicate Family Caregivers Program changes to both legacy and prospective participants. Sinema also requested the VA to soften barriers of program entry and provide more support to those seeking to reapply.