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Caregivers

A caregiver is someone — often a family member or friend — who provides a broad range of care and assistance for, or manages the care of, a current or former military service member with a disabling physical or mental injury or illness.

More than a million Americans are providing care to disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 40 percent of these caregivers are young spouses, while 25 percent are aging parents.

As caregivers, you are vital partners in our mission to care for all veterans — whatever their needs may be — and we value your work and commitment to the veterans you love. You are not alone.

Explore below for more information about the programs and resources available to help and support both you and the veterans you care for.

Resources and Information

​Caregiver support coordinators are stationed at every federal VA medical center and are here to help you any way they can. Your Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who is devoted to providing you with useful information about the services and support available to you, and connecting you with other resources in your community.

For more information: Federal VA: Find Your Local Caregiver Support Coordinator

​The federal VA's Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers offers enhanced support for caregivers of eligible veterans seriously injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. Enhanced services for eligible participants may include a financial stipend, access to health care insurance, mental health services and counseling, caregiver training, and respite care.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must have sustained or aggravated a serious injury — including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder — in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001, and you must be in need of personal care services to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.

For more information: Contact your local Federal VA: Caregiver Eligibility Check.

In Oregon, a conservator is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and property of someone who is not able to do so alone. A conservator can be an individual, a public official or an institution.

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Conservatorship Program serves veterans and their surviving spouses, their immediate family members, minor children and helpless adult children of veterans, and dependents’ parents.

ODVA’s trust officers are experts in USDVA law and regulation, and work closely with interested family members when planning for the welfare and best interest of the veteran, their spouse or dependent.

When is a conservator needed?

When an individual has a substantial amount of income, assets or property and is unable to manage his or her finances well enough to provide adequate care themselves, a conservator may be needed. This may be due to mental illness or deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs or controlled substances, disappearance or confinement, chronic intoxication, or because the individual is a minor.

Other reasons a conservator may be needed is if an individual is using income and assets to his or her own detriment or if they are being taken advantage of financially by another person.

What does a conservator do?

A conservator administers the financial estate of a protected person according to provisions of Oregon Revised Statutes, Title 13, Chapter 125. A conservator gains possession of all income and assets and establishes a personal budget and pays for care, personal needs, dependent support, property maintenance, etc., according to that budget.  A conservator applies for all benefits for which the protected person may be eligible and invests or otherwise conserves unused funds.

An accounting of financial activities is submitted to the court, USDVA, protected persons and others as required by law.

How much control does the conservator have over the protected person’s life?

A conservator assumes all responsibility for the financial affairs of the protected person's estate. They are not directly responsible for the personal affairs of the person, although the income and assets available may limit the individual’s lifestyle.

Why use ODVA's program?

ODVA’s trust officers have an extensive knowledge of USDVA laws and regulations. They have a network of contacts with information about Social Security, Medicare, public assistance, special senior citizen, disabled and low income programs. They investigate income sources the protected person may be eligible for and work closely with family and interested persons when planning for the welfare of the protected person.

Oregon law (ORS 406.050) gives the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs the authority to act, without bond, as conservator of the estate of a person who qualifies for benefits from the USDVA.

Starting a conservatorship

A petition asking for the appointment of a conservator may be submitted to a court by anyone interested in the estate, affairs or welfare of the person.  This includes parents, guardian, custodians or any person who would be adversely affected by lack of effective management of the property or affairs.  The court appoints a conservator and the order remains in effect until the person’s condition improves, majority is reached or until death.

What fees are charged?

A seven percent fee on all income under management may be charged for ordinary conservatorship services.  Additional fees may be charged for unusual services provided.  ODVA’s rate is significantly less than that of private conservatorship services.  Fees may also be waived in individual cases if circumstances warrant such action.

For more information: Call ODVA at 503-373-2085 or toll-free at 1-800-692-9666. TDD: 503-373-2217.

​This service provides supportive care to veterans on a short-term basis to give the caregiver a break from the physical and emotional demands of providing care. Respite care can be provided in the home or other non-institutional settings.

The program is for veterans who need skilled services, case management and help with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, fixing meals or taking medicine. This program is also for veterans who are isolated or their caregiver is experiencing burdens.

Eligibility

Respite Care is part of the VHA's standard medical benefit package, so all enrolled veterans may be eligible, as long as they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available in their area. A copay may be charged based on your VA service-connected disability status and financial information.

​For more information: VA: Respite Care

Caregivers play an important role in the health and well-being of Veterans. The Caregiver Support Program offers training, educational resources, and multiple tools to help you succeed.

For more information: Federal VA: Caregiver Support


National Resource Directory

Resource website that connects wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.

Visit Site

VA Caregiver Suport Line

Toll-free telephone line for caregivers of veterans of all eras:
1-855-260-3274
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