The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs did an about-face today, saying it will make sure more caregivers of severely disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can receive much-needed support.
Under an earlier plan, the VA said about 10 percent of the critically wounded from recent conflicts would be eligible, about 850 veterans. The department today raised that number to 3,500. Under the new plan, veterans who sustained a serious injury and need personal care services will be covered. Previously, families had to show that the veteran would go to an institution without the caregiver's help.
The VA says is will begin taking applications as soon as next Monday, and the monthly stipend will be ready by July.
In February, the VA created a national caregivers support hot line that has already received about 5,000 calls.