Every day, caregivers look after and care for our country’s veterans who need support. The Caregiver Support Program (PSC) recognizes their efforts and is there to support them. CSP’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for those who have served, with an emphasis on improving the quality of life of caregivers.
Each VA facility has a CSP team that provides support and service referrals for caregivers. They provide valuable resource information to help caregivers stay informed and supported. Find a local CSP team using the locator tool.
What are the two programs?
The first is the General Caregiver Support Services Program (PGCSS).
PGCSS is the heart of CSP. This clinical program empowers caregivers by providing resources that sharpen their caregiving skills and services that support their personal growth, health, and well-being.
Caregivers of veterans enrolled in VA healthcare have access to PGCSS resources and services, such as one-on-one coaching, group support, online workshops, self-care courses, and respite care.
PGCSS-enrolled caregivers may also participate in special CSP events held at their local VA facility and participate in national activities.
Learn more about PGCSS resources and how to register.
The second is the Comprehensive Family Caregiver Program (PCAFC).
The PCAFC provides enhanced clinical support to caregivers of eligible Veterans who have a serious injury (including critical illness) and require in-person personal care services, among other requirements. The PCAFC provides training and support to caregivers with the goal of increasing their confidence and ability to care for themselves and the Veteran.
Family caregivers approved for the PCAFC have access to all services and supports offered by the PGCSS and may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly stipend.
Learn more about the app for PCAFC.
What is the difference?
The CSP offers a wide range of resources and services to caregivers across the continuum of care in both the PCAFC and the PGCSS. Check out our program comparison guide.
While the majority of CSP services are offered through both programs, there are a few additional benefits available within the CSPFC. Caregivers eligible for the PCAFC may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly allowance.
As a reminder, all veteran caregivers are encouraged to register with the PGCSS in order to receive training and support, such as job training, mobile support, individual coaching, group support and respite.
The CSP team, available at each medical center, can connect caregivers with other caregivers with similar experiences to help reduce feelings of isolation and foster connection. CSP teams can also educate caregivers about resources available at VA and in the community.
Both programs serve to identify the unique needs of each caregiver by connecting them to services that best meet their individual needs and promote their health and well-being.
What caregivers say about CSP
“CSP has broadened my scope of learning, my knowledge and my understanding of expectations. I learned better caregiving skills that help me protect my son and keep him safe and healthy. With the resources of CSP, I consider myself a professional caregiver and advocate. I can advise and mentor others. I know how to manage my stress, my emotions and I know when and where to go for help. – CSP caregiver
“Some of the resources I am forever grateful for are the Caregiver Support Program, The Annie Program, REACH VA and Building Better Caregivers. We received in-person and online support, books and other audio resources. Within these programs, I was able to find the strength to heal myself to be a better caregiver for my husband and to be able to help him learn better coping mechanisms for his own medical conditions. – CSP caregiver
“CSP was very helpful, and they connected me with great resources and support. Also, the fact that caregivers support each other and find comfort in others through the peer mentorship program has been very important to me. – CSP caregiver
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