Recently, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced the Reinforcing Enhanced Support through Promoting Equity for Caregivers Today (RESPECT) Act, S. 216. This legislation would create fair processes for evaluating and assessing veterans who need a caregiver and provide additional support to caregivers.
The RESPECT Act would amend the family caregiver program (PCAFC - Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers) to include mental health professionals and neurological specialists in the evaluation and assessment process for veterans. Additionally, this bill would create an assessment waiver process for caregivers of veterans with chronic or degenerative conditions and provide them with valuable mental health resources.
“Our nation’s veterans, who require a caregiver because of a mental health condition or brain injury, deserve an evaluation and assessment process that works for them, and their caregivers deserve support as close to home as possible,” said Sen. Moran in a recent press release. “Receiving input from a veteran’s previous health care provider and providing access to a thorough history of a veteran’s treatment will help the VA provide timely resources to veterans, and allowing caregivers to seek mental health care outside of VA will help them stay healthy, strong and able to continue supporting their veteran loved ones.”
HCAOA supports this new legislation and will monitor its progress for members.