Concord Patch: Kuster Pushes for Expanded Caregiver Services During House Veterans' Affairs Committee Hearing
This morning during a House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH, questioned VA officials about the effectiveness of the VA’s Family Caregiver Program, and pushed for information regarding possible expansion.
“The VA’s Family Caregiver Program allows injured veterans to recuperate at home and provides much-needed support for family members who act as caregivers. However, in recent years the program has failed to adequately address the increased need for caregiver support,” said Kuster. “Caregivers enable millions of veterans across the country to live at home rather than in institutions, which greatly enhances their ability to successfully transition back to civilian life. During today’s hearing, I asked VA officials to pinpoint deficiencies in the program so Congress can take action. We must help more of our veterans heal from the comfort of their own homes, so they can be surrounded by friends and family and remain active members of their communities.”
The VA’s Family Caregiver Program provides financial support for family members serving as caregivers for post-9/11 veterans with serious injuries. The program was established in 2010 through the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. A September 2014 GAO report found that the program was not sufficiently meeting demand for caregiver assistance, which was the basis for today’s hearing.
Throughout her time in office, Congresswoman Annie Kuster has been a leading advocate for veterans’ rights. She helped lead the investigation on mismanagement at the Phoenix VA and other VA medical centers across the country, and she worked across the aisle to push for passage of bipartisan VA reform legislation that completely overhauled the faulty system. She continuously fights for better access to care for New Hampshire veterans, and last year she successfully helped secure the opening of two new VA clinics in Colebrook and Berlin, so fewer North Country veterans would be forced to drive extremely long distances to receive care.