VA Caregiver Program MISSION ACT “Failure To Launch"!

December 11, 2018


RE: The VA “Comprehensive Family Caregiver Program" The “MISSION ACT” Experiences a “Failure To Launch”!

(Gainesville, FL)

Veteran Warriors has confirmed that yet another “IT” project is holding up services for potentially over 1 Million veterans of the Vietnam era!

One of the key pieces of the recently enacted “The VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act” (MISSION ACT); is the long-awaited expansion of the VA’s “Comprehensive Family Caregiver Program” eligibility.

The new law required that the VA “…must develop and implement a new information technology system to support administrative and record-keeping needs. CSP will soon submit a report to Congress with a timeline for implementation (Jr., 2018).”

What the Secretary did not mention is that the law mandates that this new IT program be implemented, functioning and certified to Congress; NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 1, 2018!

Bear in mind; the law also states that the VA will not have to open the program to the pre-1975 (Vietnam era) veterans UNTIL TWO YEARS AFTER THAT CERIFICATION IS MADE. The clock has not even started yet on the two-year waiting period.

The mandate to implement this “new technology” is a misnomer. The VA already has the “Caregiver Application Tracking System”. This is the program that the VA personnel use to manage the caregiver cases. The problem is; this program does not copy over to the veteran’s medical records; and there have been cases where we have found the personnel utilizing this system to communicate their personal opinions and even remarks about how they plan to create reasons to remove veterans from the program. So, the clause in the law to create yet another program to do this seemed like a stall tactic.

Congress created a law to (finally) include all eras of veterans (over a staggered time table), into the program. The VA has fought this since the Post 9/11 portion of the program was still a Bill.

Now, they have found a way to indefinitely forestall the inevitable; effectively keeping eligible veterans still waiting on the VA for earned benefits and services, while the VA Office of IT scrambles around trying to build this program, while fixing the GI Bill program and the VBMS (claims management system).

We caution our Brothers and Sisters; please don’t hold your breath!