As the 2.6 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan join previous generations of veterans, it’s clear that many of our veterans will require long-term caregiving support. Studies estimate there are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served in the military since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The personal impact of providing care is enormous, the physical and emotional toll can be substantial, and navigating through the policies and procedures of various government agencies can be overwhelming.
Because of the important role caregivers play in promoting faster recovery and enhancing quality of life for ill and injured veterans, MOAA was proud to partner with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to produce a caregiver guide focused on the legal and financial needs of multiple generations of caregivers.
The final product — Tips for Lifelong Caregiving at www.moaa.org/caregiver — launched last Friday at a White House Ceremony hosted by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden. The American Bar Association and The USAA Educational Foundation were our main collaboration partners in content development for the caregiver guide, and the Public Counsel Law Center and ABA are partners with MOAA and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in offering a pro bono next-step legal resource for users of the caregiver guide who require assistance with more complex legal matters. We were also assisted in our development efforts by a network of contributing caregivers, service providers and subject matter experts from a range of government and private organizations. Their dedication and commitment to meeting the needs of caregivers and recovering veterans provided inspiration and wisdom throughout the development process.
The guide is arranged in five main sections: Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Finance and Legal. An active duty family should enter the guide through the Department of Defense section on the main navigation bar found on the home page. This section addresses most of the issues frequently encountered by active duty families.
Families who have transitioned off of active duty will generally want to look for caregiver specific information in the VA or Social Security sections, as appropriate.
All caregivers – regardless of their generation or active duty status – will find useful financial planning and legal information in the final two sections.
Consider that all military caregivers face elevated risks of poor health outcomes, strained family relationships and financial losses from missed work. These risks are higher among post-9/11 military caregivers – many of whom are also raising children. If you or someone you know are a caregiver, please use this link to MOAA’s online caregiver guide – www.moaa.org/caregiver — developed by caregivers and service providers to meet the financial and legal needs of military caregivers – our hidden heroes.
Go to www.TADPGS.com, click on the “Looking for People” tab, then view “Veterans Solutions” to see more for information on our Veterans Solutions for Employers. Please join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans and Companies at http://linkd.in/Sg346w. If you have specific questions about hiring veterans or the incentives for doing so, contact me at [email protected].