It can be hard to find your way through the maze of programs at DoD and the VA. The good news is that you are not alone. There are many caring professionals at both agencies who can guide you. Your family member will also have a Point of Contact (POC). He or she is the first person to turn to for information. (What this person is called depends on your family member’s military branch.)
You also have an important role to play on your family member’s behalf. Part of being a caregiver is to be an advocate, for both your family member and for you. You need to speak up, clearly and firmly, to communicate your and your family member’s need for services and benefits.
Understanding what services and benefits are available to you and your family member will help you feel more confident in advocating for them. That’s what this module is all about.
The information in this module is current as of its publication. Information on services and benefits changes from time to time. Please check with your Point of Contact (POC) (see Chapter 1) for updated information. He or she can also advise you about where to look for information you need.
You can start your search with these main Web sites:
If your service member/veteran has passed away due to his or her military injuries incurred during active military duty, you will surely have many questions to consider in the midst of your grief. As a survivor, you are eligible for special benefits. You can learn more about survivors’ benefits at www.benefits.va.gov.
Read some of the chapters in this module:
The Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans provides comprehensive information and resources caregivers need to care and advocate for their injured loved one and to care for themselves in the process. The Guide was developed by the Defense Health Board, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs.