Retired Sgt. Chris Kurtz wheels himself approximately his front door as his better half and caretaker, Heather Kurtz, follows behind. The Department of Veterans Affairs informed him last summertime that he no longer requires a caretaker.

Erica Brechtelsbauer for NPR.


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Erica Brechtelsbauer for NPR.

Retired Sgt. Chris Kurtz wheels himself approximately his front door as his better half and caretaker, Heather Kurtz, follows behind. The Department of Veterans Affairs informed him last summertime that he no longer requires a caretaker.

Erica Brechtelsbauer for NPR.

The Department of Veterans Affairs revealed Friday that it will stop dropping caretakers from its stipend program. The short-lived suspension comes 3 days after a report from NPR exposed issues from veterans that their caretakers were arbitrarily cut, regardless of no modification in their status.

The VA ended up being mindful of “ongoing issues revealed by Veterans, caretakers and supporters about irregular application of eligibility requirements by VA medical centers,” the department stated in a declaration stated

” It is vital that we get this right,” stated VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This impacts among our most susceptible Veteran populations and we require to make certain we have consistency on how we procedure and assess advantage applications throughout VA.”

The program begun in 2011 to support member of the family of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Caretakers get a stipend– varying from $660 to $2,600 monthly– to supply house healthcare that would otherwise cost the VA countless dollars.

However as NPR reported, lots of VA workplaces have actually dramatically cut hundreds of caretakers off their rolls in current years– typically with little description to the caretakers. In Charleston, S.C., the VA dropped 94 percent of its caretakers in 3 years.

The VA calls the suspension short-lived however states it will “continue to get feedback from external stakeholders” and is “evaluating policy modifications in addition to pursuing long-lasting legal and regulative modifications.”

After a 2017 NPR report, the VA briefly stopped kicking individuals off the program and performed a tactical evaluation. However the cuts continued.

The caretaker program is expected to be growing to consist of veterans from The second world war, Korea and the Vietnam period. However, as NPR likewise reported, the VA just recently blew through its very first infotech due date, raising issues about more hold-ups. Congressional sources state the growth might take years.