Big takeaways are the expansion of Family Caregiver Program initially to those seriously injured or aggravated in service before May 7, 1975 and then 2 years after the start date to those meeting the criteria who were seriously injured or aggravated in service between May 7, 1975 and September 11, 2001. The start date won’t be until they have the systems in place to properly track the program and it has been funded. It does maintain that the requirement for eligibility is the need for assistance for only one ADL rather than the minimum of three that had been proposed.
The Choice Program is being given a sunset date of one year after the VA Mission Act is enacted. There are funding issues with the Act currently that probably won’t be resolved until the fall session of Congress as the Appropriations Committee is going to have to figure out where the money needed to fund the Choice Program is going to come from. This Act expands access to non-VA care facilities to includes the authorization of access to walk-in care to Veterans who have used VA health care services in the 24-month period prior. Community providers that have entered into a contract or agreement to provide services and federally qualified health centers will provide the services.
The expansion of the Family Caregiver Program is more significant to what we do as this significantly expands the number of Veterans that are eligible for the benefit.
– Corey Davenport