Moran and Sinema Launch Act for Post-Caregiving Support for Veterans’ Family Members

By Trish Svoboda

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Kyrsten Sinema, members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, have introduced the Veteran Caregiver Reeducation, Reemployment, and Retirement Act in Washington, D.C. The act aims to assist former family caregivers of veterans as they reenter the workforce or retire after their caregiving duties end, by directing support from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The proposed legislation mandates that the VA must ensure ongoing assistance, such as employment aid, retirement guidance, and grief counseling, for caregivers whose veteran family members no longer require caregiving due to recovery, increased care needs beyond family capabilities, or passing away.

“Family caregivers provide an invaluable service to their veteran loved ones, and we can support them by helping them successfully transition back into the workforce or into retirement once their time as a caregiver comes to an end,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation answers a need I have heard about from veterans, caregivers and VA staff in Kansas and will make certain that support for former family caregivers does not abruptly end when the veteran the caregiver is caring for passes away, regains independence or transitions to a higher level of care.”

The Veteran Caregiver Reeducation, Reemployment, and Retirement Act proposes the following measures:

– Ensuring CHAMPVA-enrolled family caregivers remain enrolled for up to 180 days post-dismissal from the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, except in cases of fraud, abuse, or mistreatment.

– Reimbursing family caregivers up to $1,000 for maintaining professional licensure fees and granting access to VA training modules for earning continuing education credits.

– Providing access to certain employment assistance programs in collaboration with the Departments of Defense and Labor.

– Offering retirement planning services and workforce reentry assistance for family caregivers.

– Furnishing bereavement counseling and support for former family caregivers upon the passing of their veteran loved one.

– Conducting feasibility studies on establishing a returnship program for caregivers reentering the workforce and on barriers and incentives for hiring former caregivers at the VA.

– Exploring the feasibility of implementing a retirement plan tailored to family caregivers.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.

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