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    VA Caregiver Program Needs Better Outreach and Data to Serve Disabled Vets, Panel Says

    VA Caregiver Program Needs Better Outreach and Data to Serve Disabled Vets, Panel Says

    The Department of Veterans Affairs needs to step up outreach and coordination to caregivers of disabled veterans to ensure that they are aware of available programs and they understand the eligibility requirements for each, a key VA advisory panel has recommended.

    A VA Veterans' Family, Caregiver and Survivor Advisory panel subcommittee says VA does not collect demographics data on caregivers and falls short in explaining programs designed for caregivers and vets who need help at home, leading to a lack of understanding on both sides and missed opportunities for veterans.

    During a meeting this week in , D.C., researchers and members of the panel's Families and Caregivers Subcommittee said VA must improve data collection and increase outreach and care coordination to ensure that veterans and caregivers understand the eligibility criteria of programs.

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    VA should , panel members said, by collecting information on race, ethnicity, age, gender, language, religion and sexual orientation of veterans' caregivers — a move they say would help the VA address the “cultural and generational” needs of caregivers and ensure that the VA's caregiver programs are equitable.

    “VA is not systematically collecting data on caregivers,” Dr. Luci Leykum, the VA director for the Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research, told committee…

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