Military advocates will be focused this week on Wednesday’s Senate Veterans’ Affairs hearing on caregiver support efforts, after significant criticism of plans to scale back stipends for families of injured veterans.
Veterans Affairs officials announced last fall that they would review “legacy” participants of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to see if they qualify under updated guidelines. But families affected by the change have accused VA officials of simply working to trim the number of participants in the program, causing significant hardship for them.
At issue are thousands of dollars a month in support stipends for veterans too injured to live on their own but healthy enough to avoid institutionalization.
The hearing is scheduled for less than a week before the administration unveils its budget request for fiscal 2023, which will likely include a significant increase for Veterans Affairs programming again. Whether lawmakers will support that as families complain about program cutbacks remains unclear.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.