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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).

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. 

As a 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


And all of these must be true for the Veteran you’re caring for. The Veteran must:

  • Have been discharged from the U.S. military or have a date of medical discharge, and
  • Have a serious injury—including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other mental disorder—that was caused or made worse by their active-duty service on or after September 11, 2001, and
  • Need at least 6 months of continuous  personal care services 

Answer a few questions to find out if you meet the criteria for this program.

Find out if you qualify and download an application

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 services and 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:

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).

Find out how the Veteran can apply for VA health care

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