FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
RE: Suspension Lifted On VA’s Post 9/11 Caregiver Program – What Not To Expect
On July 28, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs quietly lifted its internal ban on revoking veterans from the Comprehensive Caregiver Program; (commonly known as the Post 9/11 Caregiver Program).
In what was a nearly silent ending to the ban, over 26,000 veterans and their families would still not have any clarity on why they were terminated or how the VA leadership would rectify the problems that were identified and discussed at a Roundtable held by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Health; April 28, 2017.
After waiting over 3 months for real reforms and national intervention by VA leaders, tens of thousands of veterans still have no answers; and their expectations of national level intervention have gone unheard.
Almost a year ago, Veteran Warriors began an investigation into what later would be found to be mass terminations in the program. After several months of research, we discovered that over 26,000 veterans had been “revoked” (terminated) from the program in just 3 years. Most of those revoked were told they had, “graduated” or that they just “no longer qualified” for the program. Nearly everyone was told that the program was now a “recovery-based” program and in many cases; that they no longer qualified for the program, though their condition had not changed.
We presented our findings to members of Congress and VA leadership; both at the Roundtable and in private meetings.
Our recommendations included the suspension, national distribution of the law, mandatory training of all program employees and significant other changes that the program needs considering that since its inception there has never been even a policy manual; let alone a set of national standards.
What has now come forth from the VA is virtually nothing. A “Directive” was issued June 14th; that is essentially just an excerpt from the actual law. A “Discharge” form has been issued. Ironically, there is no such language (“Discharge”) in the law; which clearly calls termination a “Revocation”. There have been no mandates for consistency in the evaluations or even just enterprise-wide forms.
Once again, the VA made a lot of noise and promises; only to deliver the very least it could without doing anything at all. Once again, veterans are the only ones who are suffering!
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