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Following Senator Hassan’s Push, the VA Halts Annual Reassessments for Caregivers Program Participants

VA Previously Halted Removal of NH Veterans from the Program Following Senator Hassan’s Advocacy

WASHINGTON -- Following Senator Maggie Hassan’s push for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address concerns with the Caregivers Program, the VA announced it will suspend its annual reassessment process for participants in the program as part of its ongoing review of the program’s eligibility criteria. The annual reassessments of veterans and their caregivers is an extremely invasive process, often taking a mental and physical toll on family caregivers. VA also announced that it will not discharge participants in the program or reduce stipends based on a reassessment.

“We should make it as straightforward as possible for our veterans to access VA benefits, given all they have sacrificed for our freedoms,” said Senator Hassan. “I have heard from many Granite State veterans who have been cut off from the VA Caregivers program for bureaucratic reasons, and I am glad that the VA is taking another step forward in ensuring that veterans can access the program by suspending an extremely invasive process. I will continue to make sure that New Hampshire veterans can participate in the VA Caregivers Program.”

The VA Caregiver Program supports family members caring for veterans severely injured in the line of duty. The previous administration narrowed the program’s eligibility, and the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, on which Senator Hassan serves, found that the VA denied 88 percent of applications to the program between October 2020 and August 2021.

After New Hampshire veterans raised concerns, Senator Hassan pressed the VA earlier this spring to reverse the previous administration’s changes and keep veterans in the program, and the VA announced in March that it will not remove anyone from the program before they reexamine the eligibility criteria for the program. The latest announcement from the VA is an additional step forward in ensuring that New Hampshire veterans can stay in the program.