May 9, 2011
VA Partners with Easter Seals to Train
Family Caregivers of Wounded Warriors
Applications for Services and Training Taken Nationwide Starting Today
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Easter Seals formally announced a partnership to provide comprehensive Caregiver Training to Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans as authorized by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.
“We at VA are committed to providing the Family Caregivers who share our sacred duty to care for those ‘who have borne the battle’ with the best services available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We are very pleased to partner with a renowned organization such as Easter Seals in developing the best possible training program for Family Caregivers. Throughout its long history, Easter Seals has demonstrated its strong commitment to supporting our Nation’s Military, Veterans and their families.”
“Easter Seals is proud to share our expertise and knowledge with this important group of Family Caregivers, taking care of loved ones who returned home with serious injuries after their post 9/11 service to our nation,” explained James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Easter Seals. “We are honored to help these Veterans and their families.”
Starting today, Family Caregivers and Veterans can apply for services authorized under a VA interim final rule that was published on May 5. Eligible Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans will receive comprehensive training developed by Easter Seals in collaboration with VA clinical experts. It is part of a package of new services that also include a monthly stipend, mental health services and access to medical care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), if the primary Family Caregiver is not entitled to care or services under a health plan contract.
Easter Seals has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.
Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans will have a choice of how to receive their training. Options will include traditional classroom training, online learning or a correspondence course. All Family Caregivers will be expected to complete training as part of the preparation to start receiving other services under the new program. The first training courses are expected to start in June, and monthly stipends, which are backdated to the day applications are formally submitted, could begin as early as July.
Veterans may download a copy of the Family Caregiver program application at www.caregiver.va.gov. The application enables the Veteran to designate a primary Family Caregiver and secondary Family Caregivers. Caregiver support coordinators are stationed at 153 VA medical centers and available by phone at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) to assist Veterans and Family Caregivers with the application process. Caregivers of Veterans from all eras are also encouraged to use the website and support line to explore more than two dozen other services VA provides Caregivers.
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About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is a non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, it has been offering help to children and adults living with disabilities and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals assists people with disabilities to live, learn, work and play. If you would like more information on Easter Seals, visit the Easter Seals website at www.easterseals.com.
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