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  WNC-MOAA : Western North Carolina Chapter MOAA News & Events: Chapter and Community News

 

Expansion of VA Caregiver Program

To include WWII, Korea, Vietnam Veterans

VA and Vietnam Veterans of American (VVA) recently teamed up to host a Facebook Live event to spread the word about the recent expansion of VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) to WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Era Veterans.

Under this program, benefits that previously were only accessible to post-9/11 Veterans are now available to help eligible older Veterans and their caregivers. Caregivers may receive education and training, a monthly financial stipend, respite care, as well as health insurance and beneficiary travel.

Chuck Byers, chair of Veterans Healthcare for VVA, began the event by asking panelists what VA means by the term caregiver.

Care can look different from Veteran to Veteran

Leah Christensen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Program Coordinator with the National Caregiver Support Program Office (CSP), explained that caregivers can be family members and friends who are helping Veterans with their care.

“Care can look different from Veteran to Veteran,” she said. “It can include helping Veterans by driving them to appointments and grocery shopping, assisting with medication management or with activities of daily living.”

Caregivers may also assist Veterans who have challenges with memory or mood, or with hands-on care needs that can impact their independence.

Through the Caregiver Support Program, caregivers can help Veterans stay safe at home for as long as possible.

Matt Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and CSP’s lead for Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 10, added, “We know that Veterans have better health outcomes with a strong, well-supported caregiver.

Caregivers often put themselves last

Brown continued: “We also know that caregivers often put themselves last, putting them at risk for burn-out and in a space where they are not able to take care of their loved one.”

One of the most important things we do is help caregivers take care of themselves.

VVA and CSP discussed the purpose of PCAFC and the program’s eligibility requirements. PCAFC was previously available for caregivers of eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury on or after September 11, 2001.

As a result of the 2018 MISSION Act, VA expanded PCAFC to provide services to caregivers of eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury on or before May 7, 1975. VA will expand PCAFC to include caregivers of eligible Veterans from all eras of service on Oct. 1, 2022.

Services take care of caregiver’s wellbeing

Under the new regulation, a Veteran must have a single or combined service-connected disability rating of 70% or more and need in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months. Viewers were invited to ask questions during the event.

According to Christensen, PCAFC comprehensive services support caregivers to provide care to the Veteran, but also take care of caregiver’s own wellbeing. Part of the services include providing caregivers with respite services as well as support from a team of professionals.

“It’s so important for caregivers to take care of themselves,” Christensen said. “Our program has trained clinical staff at each medical center who are able to help caregivers and Veterans to make sure they have the support and resources that they need.”

Thank you to all Veterans, service members and their supporters who participated in this event!

Visit VA’s Caregivers Support Program website to learn more about how VA supports caregivers.

Posted: 11/25/20 20:59 by WNC MOAA under "General"

First Virtual General Membership Meeting a Big Success!

Wow, I am still amazed at how well our Virtual General Meeting went on Saturday, November 21, 2020. We had 23 members in attendance which is not bad for our first attempt.

After her welcome and a short business period, Donna Culp introduced Dr. Mark Jaben as guest speaker. He is the Medical Director of the Haywood County Health Department. Dr. Jaben obviously has a vast amount of knowledge concerning the COVID-19 Epidemic. For those not in attendance, you missed a great program that imparted a wealth of useful information explaining where we have been, where we are now and where we are headed in the future with this worldwide medical disaster. A question and answer period followed.

I would like to invite you to join us for the February 27, 2021 Virtual Meeting should we have to follow the same format. For those of you who may hesitate because you may feel your computer skills are up to “snuff” --believe me when I say mine are very limited but this was so easy even I had no problem joining in. Donna has floated in the idea of maybe having a couple of tutorial sessions just to have you see that anyone can do it.

Hoping this finds you in good health, stay safe and I hope to see you all soon be it in person or virtually.

Semper Fi,

Bob Rebscher

Secretary – Marine Representative

Posted: 11/23/20 18:13 by WNC MOAA under "Business"

Is your survivor benefit plan (SBP) offset by the VA dependency indemnity compensation (DIC)?

A message from DFAS Regarding SBP DIC (Widows Tax) phase out.

January 1, 2021 begins the first phase of the "Phase-Out of Reduction of Survivor Benefit Plan Survivor Annuities by Amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation," as directed by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020.

Based on the NDAA, Spouse SBP annuitants who are subject to the DIC offset may see the first change in the SBP annuity payment they receive on February 1, 2021.

Letters will be mailed to recipients in early December.

In 2021, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments issued by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will be reduced (offset) by no more than two-thirds of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Please check our SBP-DIC News webpage for additional information and frequently asked questions.

Posted: 11/23/20 17:59 by WNC MOAA under "Serious"

Charles George VA Medical Center

Chief Nurse Executive Dave Przestrzelski and Licensed Practical Nurse Jim Luetkenhaus won in the Nurse Executive and Licensed Practical Nurse categories respectively.

VA Awards: WLOS interviewed Mr. Przestrzelski concerning the Secretary VA awards. Go [more...]