The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
We recognize the important role of family caregivers in supporting the health and wellness of Veterans. Find out if you may be eligible and how to apply for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
We’re working to give more family caregivers access to this program
As part of the VA MISSION Act, we’re working to give more family caregivers access to this program so we can support them as they care for Veterans of all eras.
We're expanding access in 2 phases:
- On October 1, 2020, we expanded the program to include family caregivers of eligible Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975.
- 2 years from this date, we’ll further expand the program to include family caregivers of eligible Veterans from all eras who were seriously injured in the line of duty.
For more information about this expansion or to learn about the many support services you can access now:
- Visit our Caregiver Support Program website.
- Or call our Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Am I eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers?
You may be eligible if you and the Veteran you’re caring for meet all of the requirements listed below.
Eligibility requirements for the family caregiver
You must be at least 18 years old and at least one of these must be true for you.
You must be either:
- A spouse, son, daughter, parent, stepfamily member, or extended family member of the Veteran, or
- Someone who lives full-time with the Veteran, or is willing to do so if designated as a family caregiver
Eligibility requirements for the Veteran
All of these must be true for the Veteran you’re caring for.
The Veteran must have a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or higher. The Veteran’s service-connected disabilities must have been caused or made worse by their active-duty service during one of these periods of time:
- On or after September 11, 2001, or
- On or before May 7, 1975
And the Veteran must:
- Have been discharged from the U.S. military or have a date of medical discharge, and
- Need at least 6 months of continuous, in-person personal care services
What are personal care services?
These are services the eligible Veteran needs from another person. They include care or assistance to support the Veteran's:
- Health and well-being
- Everyday personal needs (like feeding, bathing, and dressing)
- Safety, protection, or instruction in their daily living environment
How many caregivers can the eligible Veteran appoint?
The Veteran can appoint:
- 1 Primary Family Caregiver (the main caregiver), and
- Up to 2 Secondary Family Caregivers (people who serve as backup support to the primary caregiver when needed)
Eligible Primary and Secondary Family Caregivers can receive:
- Caregiver education and training
- Mental health counseling
- Travel, lodging, and financial assistance when traveling with the Veteran to receive care
Eligible Primary Family Caregivers may also receive:
- A monthly stipend (payment)
- Access to health care benefits through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)—if you don’t already qualify for care or services under another health care plan
Learn more about CHAMPVA
- At least 30 days per year of respite care for the Veteran
What if the Veteran I’m caring for doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria for this program?
Family caregivers of Veterans who aren’t eligible for this program may still be able to get support and resources. The VA Caregiver Support Program consists of 2 programs: this Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) and another program called the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS). To learn more, you can:
- Read about the Program of General Caregiver Support Services
- Call the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
- Discuss your options with your local Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC)
Go to the VA Caregiver Support Coordinator directory
What if the Veteran isn’t enrolled in VA health care yet?
If the Veteran isn’t yet enrolled in VA health care, or is on active duty and undergoing a medical discharge, they’ll first need to apply for VA health care benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).