(U.S. Senate) – Following efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order today to expand access to high-quality home care and support for veterans and caregivers of all ages.
“This is great news for our aging and disabled veterans who deserve and have earned access to quality home-based care,” said Tester. “Ensuring these men and women have access to convenient, long-term care options after their time in uniform is absolutely critical, and I’m proud to have pushed the Administration to take action. I’ll keep working to hold folks in Washington accountable on delivering this needed support now and in the future.”
The President’s Executive Order pushes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve access to home-based care for veterans who require support, as championed under Tester’s bipartisan Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act. Mirroring requirements under Tester’s legislation, the Executive Order specifically directs VA to speed up the expansion of its Veteran Directed Care program to all 172 VA Medical Centers by the end of Fiscal Year 2024.
The President’s Executive Order also requires VA to consider expanding access to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, also known as the Caregivers Program, and provide more mental health support for caregivers enrolled in that program. VA recently expanded Program eligibility to veterans of all eras, and following pressure from Tester, suspended discharges for legacy participants and is conducting a review of all eligibility criteria to ensure they are not too restrictive.
Tester has been leading the fight for years to deliver stronger support to disabled veterans and expand the Caregivers Program to veterans of all eras. He led the charge the last two years to introduce the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act alongside Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). The aim of this bipartisan bill is to expand home and community-based services for aging veterans, as well as improve support for veterans and caregivers of all ages.
Continuing to build on these efforts, Tester will be leading a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing in the coming months examining veterans’ long-term care options and opportunities for improvement.