Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/27/2009)

Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act - (Sec. 2) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and carry out a program of support services for family and non-family caregivers providing noninstitutional extended care to disabled veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. Requires such support services to include: (1) educational sessions, stipends, and access to support services; (2) counseling and related services; (3) respite care; (4) medical care for family caregivers; and (5) travel expenses in connection with the outpatient care of such veterans. Requires the Secretary to: (1) conduct outreach to inform disabled veterans and their families of services available for caregivers, as well as the ability of a caregiver to be trained and certified by a home health care agency in order to be paid for providing such services; (2) submit to the congressional veterans' committees a plan for implementation of such program; and (3) report annually thereafter for five years on plan implementation.

(Sec. 3) Makes counseling and mental health services available to family and non-family caregivers of enrolled veterans.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary to ensure that respite care meets the needs of the veteran receiving such care, including 24-hour home respite care, and is appropriate with respect to the veteran's age.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the provision of medical care through the VA for family caregivers of eligible veterans, if the caregiver is without health insurance and ineligible for other public health insurance. Defines a "family caregiver" as an individual who provides care to a veteran who was deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom and are determined by the Secretary to: (1) have a severe service-connected disability or illness; (2) be in need of caregiver services since, without such services, the veteran would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care; and (3) be unable to carry out the activities of daily living.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes a lodging and subsistence allowance for family caregivers of eligible veterans described above, to cover the time in which the veteran is traveling to and from a treatment facility as well as the duration of the treatment period.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Secretary to: (1) at least once every three years, design and conduct a survey of family and non-family caregivers; (2) consider survey findings when carrying out programs related to caregivers; and (3) report to the veterans' committees on survey results and services made available to caregivers.