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VA Caregiver Benefits for Mesothelioma

Taking care of a veteran with mesothelioma can be rewarding, but it can also take an emotional and financial toll on families and caregivers. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers caregiver benefits to help families take care of veterans they love. Learn more about what services are available and how Mesothelioma Hope can help you file for benefits today.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Laura Wright

Last updated:

What Are VA Benefits for Caregivers?

VA caregiver benefits are a lifeline to family members caring for U.S. veterans who have serious illnesses like mesothelioma.

Caregivers suffering from burnout or financial struggles can use these VA benefits to support their well-being and provide better care for veterans.

VA benefits for family caregivers provide:

  • Education and training
  • Financial stipends
  • Mental health counseling

By accessing these resources, caregivers can get the support and financial aid they deserve, and more effectively help veterans with mesothelioma.

Learn how to access VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma and financial aid in our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

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  • Access $30+ billion in trust funds
  • File a VA claim
  • Receive legal compensation

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Mesothelioma VA Caregiver Support Programs

Those caring for veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma can find support through two main VA programs: the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) and the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS).

Each program offers different forms of support, depending on the needs of the veteran and their caregiver. Learn more about PCAFC and PGCSS below.

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

The PCAFC offers support for family caregivers of eligible veterans. This includes one primary caregiver and up to two secondary caregivers, who are appointed by the veteran.

The program provides services such as health insurance, financial aid, mental health care, and respite care services. VA benefits can vary depending on if you’re a primary or secondary family caregiver.

You may be eligible for PCAFC if you:

  • Are a spouse, child, or extended family member of the veteran
  • Live full-time with the veteran OR are willing to live full-time with the veteran to become their caregiver

The veteran you’re caring for must also:

  • Have VA health care or enroll in it
  • Have a VA disability rating of 70% or higher (mesothelioma veterans are rated 100%)
  • Need a minimum of 6 months of constant care

Program of General Caregiver Support Services

The PGCSS is a slightly different program in that anyone can qualify. You don’t have to be a spouse or relative and you don’t have to live with the veteran, unlike in the PCAFC.

To join the program, the veteran you’re caring for must be enrolled in the VA health care system. From there, the veteran must appoint you as their general caregiver.

Through the PGCSS, caregivers can:

  • Access helpful resources
  • Improve their caregiving skills
  • Get support and mentoring from other caregivers
  • Work with a care team to help the veteran

If you need help accessing caregiver VA benefits for mesothelioma, contact us now. Our VA-accredited team can help you file a claim and get the benefits you need.

Types of VA Caregiver Benefits for Mesothelioma

There are many VA disability caregiver benefits, including access to training and education programs, mental health services, and travel and financial aid services.

Access to Training and Education Programs

As a caregiver of a veteran, you may gain access to training and education programs.

These programs can teach you caregiving skills such as:

  • Flexibility
  • Communicating with veterans with dementia
  • Meal preparation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management

The VA offers telephone, online, and in-person training and education programs so caregivers can attend when it’s most convenient for them.

Mental Health Counseling Services

Primary and secondary caregivers can receive mental health counseling services.

VA counselors can teach caregivers how to:

  • Deal with stress
  • Manage emotions and physical health
  • Understand their feelings better

The VA also offers programs and workshops where you can meet other caregivers for advice and support.

Travel and Financial Assistance Benefits

Primary and secondary caregivers can also receive travel and financial aid when going with the veteran to appointments as part of the PCAFC.

VA Caregiver Benefits Stipends

The main caregiver of a veteran can expect to receive a monthly financial stipend under the PCAFC. They can use VA caregiver benefits to pay to buy supplies or hire services to take care of the veteran.

This is a notable VA spousal caregiver benefit, as it allows a veteran’s husband or wife to provide care while lessening financial worries.

Health Care Benefits

As part of the PCAFC, the primary family caregiver also gets access to health care insurance through the CHAMPVA if they don’t already have health insurance.

Yearly Respite Care

The primary caregiver will also receive at least 30 days of respite care per year with the PCAFC. Through respite care, a third party temporarily helps a veteran while the primary caregiver takes a break to recharge.

VA Geriatrics and Extended Care Services

With VA Geriatrics and Extended Care, trained health care professionals share some of the responsibilities of caregiving with a veteran’s caregiver.

VA Geriatrics and Extended Care programs include:

  • Adult Day Health Care
  • In-home health care from nurses
  • Homemaker services
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Temporary or full-time nursing home care

Learn more about VA Geriatrics and Extended Care programs and how they can help.

How to Apply for Caregiver Benefits from the VA

If you’re caring for a veteran with mesothelioma, follow these steps to apply for VA caregiver benefits.

Remember that you must be enrolled in VA health care benefits before you and the veteran can get these benefits.

1. Set a Time to Apply

You and the veteran you love should pick a time to apply for VA mesothelioma caregiver benefits together. Applying at the same time in the same place makes it easier and helps avoid mistakes.

2. Apply for Benefits

The application process varies slightly depending on if you’re applying for PCAFC or PGCSS.

Here’s how to apply for VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma:

  • For the PCAFC, you must fill out VA Form 10-10CG. You can file by mail or bring the form to a VA medical center’s caregiver support coordinator.
  • For the PGCSS, you must undergo an informal intake with help from a local caregiver support coordinator.

The Mesothelioma Hope team has fellow veterans and VA-accredited attorneys on staff who can help you access VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma as well as monthly compensation.

Get our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to learn about all the ways we can help you and your family.

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  • Access $30+ billion in trust funds
  • File a VA claim
  • Receive legal compensation

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3. Wait for a Benefits Determination

Once you’ve applied for VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma, you must wait for a decision. After the VA confirms enrollment, you can start using the benefits to take better care of the veteran you love.

Get Help Accessing VA Caregiver Benefits for Mesothelioma

Loved ones caring for veterans with mesothelioma could experience stress or burnout, especially if their loved one requires 24/7 care.

VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma can help caregivers of disabled veterans immensely by providing emotional and financial aid. Veterans with mesothelioma can also receive better care as a result.

Mesothelioma Hope stands ready to help you and your family access VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma along with other medical and financial VA resources.

Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide for more information on how to get started.

VA Caregiver Benefits for Mesothelioma FAQs

What is the VA disability rating for mesothelioma?

The VA considers VA mesothelioma a 100% qualifying disability in almost all cases.

This means that veterans with mesothelioma qualify for the highest financial benefits, low-cost or free medical services, and VA caregiver benefits.

It is not hard to get approved for the VA caregiver program. You just need to ensure you and the caregiver(s) meet all eligibility requirements.

How much will the VA pay my wife to be my caregiver?

This depends on a wide range of factors, most notably where you live and how severe your illness is. There are two disability levels to a VA stipend under the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).

For example, if you live in Dallas, Texas, your caregiver will get $1,818.54 monthly under Level 1 and $2,909.67 per month under Level 2 as of 2022. If you have mesothelioma, your caregiver may qualify for Level 2 payouts more easily since this is a life-threatening cancer.

Contact our team to learn how much your caregiver could receive through VA spouse caregiver benefits or general caregiver benefits.

How long does it take for the VA to approve a caregiver?

The VA will want to designate a caregiver within 90 days of receiving an application.

To help ensure that the approval process goes smoothly, The VA will assess both the veteran and potential caregiver. The caregiver must also complete a required training course provided by the VA.

How much is the VA compensation for asbestos exposure?

As of 2024, married veterans with mesothelioma can get nearly $4,000 a month or more through VA disability compensation.

They may qualify for more money through VA caregiver benefit programs or by filing private compensation claims.

Call (866) 608-8933 to learn how much you could receive through VA caregiver benefits for mesothelioma.

Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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References
  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, February 22). The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/family-member-benefits/comprehensive-assistance-for-family-caregivers/
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 24). VA Caregiver Support Program. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 11). VA Caregiver Support Program: Caregiver Support Program (CSP) Teams. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/New_CSC_Page.asp
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 6). VA Caregiver Support Program: Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/support_benefits.asp
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, May 18). VA Caregiver Support Program: Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS). Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/Care_Caregivers.asp
  6. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers: Monthly Stipend for Primary Family Caregivers. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FactSheets/Monthly-Caregiver-Stipend-Factsheet.pdf
  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (January 2023). Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Application Process. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FactSheets/ApplicationProcessFactsheet.pdf# 
  8. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (August 2022). Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance For Family Caregivers: Roles, Responsibilities and Requirements Fact Sheet. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FactSheets/PCAFC-Roles-Responsibilities-Requirements-FactSheet.pdf
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