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. Once the Secretary of Veterans Affairs certifies to Congress that our new caregiver information technology system is fully implemented, we'll expand access in 2 phases. We'll announce the expansion start date in mid-September.
First, we’ll expand the program to include family caregivers of eligible Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975. Then 2 years after this first expansion, we’ll further expand the program to include family caregivers of eligible Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty between May 7, 1975, and September 10, 2001.
Please visit our Caregiver Support Program website or call our Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274 to get more information about this expansion and to learn about the many support services you can access now. 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?
If you, and the Veteran you’re caring for, think you meet the eligibility criteria listed below, we invite you to apply.
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.
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:
- 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).