TN 120 (01-14)
SI 00830.317 VA Caregivers Payments
Public Law — 111–163; Social Security Act, as amended — Section 1612(a)(12)
A. Introduction for VA caregivers payments
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides family caregivers a monthly stipend payment to provide personal care to eligible veterans who have serious post-9/11 injuries and elect to receive their care in a home setting. Family caregivers provide crucial support in caring for these veterans in a home environment, which can enhance the health and well-being of veterans under VA health services.
1. Eligible veterans
To be eligible for the VA caregivers program, the veteran must have:
been medically discharged from service;
a serious injury that was aggravated in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001;
need of personal care because of the inability to perform one or more activities of daily living; and
been enrolled in VA health services.
2. Eligible caregivers
An eligible caregiver is a member of the family of the veteran, including:
a step-family member;
an extended family member; or
someone who lives with the veteran, but is not a member of the family of the veteran.
B. Policy for VA caregivers payments
VA caregivers payments are unearned income to which the $20 general income exclusion applies. For a discussion of the $20 general income exclusion, see SI 00810.420. The monthly stipend is compensation to the caregiver for providing personal care services to an eligible veteran.
NOTE: The stipend does not represent an employment relationship between the VA and the caregiver.
C. Procedure for VA caregivers payments
Verify the frequency and gross amount of the VA caregivers payment using documentation in the individual’s possession.
D. Procedure for systems coding
1. MSSICS claims
Select from the MSSICS IMEN screen OTHER INCOME OR SUPPORT NOT PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED. On the IOTH screen, select OTHER and enter the words “VA CAREGIVERS PAYMENT” at the IF TYPE IS OTHER EXPLAIN field. For more information on the IOTH screen, see MSOM MSSICS 015.027.
2. Non-MSSICS claims
On the SSA-1719B (Supplemental Security Income Post-Entitlement Input) or SSA-450-SI (SSI Data Input and Determination) enter “SW” for the unearned income type and the amount of the VA caregivers payment. Enter the words “VA CAREGIVER” in the ID segment of the UM field to identify the income source. For more information on the ID segment, see SM 01305.250.