Disability, General, Guest Bloggers

Caring for Our Nation’s Veterans

May 9, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: May 9, 2023

photo of us flagEvery May, we celebrate Military Caregivers Month. As our population continues to age, more people – including veterans – will need care. Caregivers are the backbone of long-term care – and being a caregiver is demanding. It can also be incredibly rewarding. Many caregivers cherish the opportunity to support their loved ones.

As Dr. Jennifer Olsen, chief executive officer of RCI, explains, “Caregiving in military families goes far beyond caregivers of those injured due to their military service, including aging parents and grandparents, other family members, friends and children with special needs.” RCI’s programs enable military and veteran caregivers to foster connections and create a community of support. These programs also help with the common burdens that caregivers face, including those below.

Financial Burden

Many caregivers face a financial burden when caring for a veteran. Some need to provide specialized care that can be costly, and others lack the financial resources to cover all the costs associated with caregiving. Caregivers often take time off work to provide the necessary care. As a result, caregivers may suffer a decrease in income, loss of a career, and depletion of their savings. Fortunately, their loved ones may be eligible to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits to help ease this burden. To learn more, please visit out Information for Military & Veterans page.

“Military service introduces unique challenges to the work of caregiving. These caregivers are asked to manage the workload of caregiving while dealing with relocations, deployments and family separations, financial insecurity and additional barriers to employment, and their own health and mental health concerns.”

Caregiving in Military Families: 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Special Report (Written by Blue Star Families – in conjunction with the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, at Syracuse University).

Emotional Stress

Providing care to a sick or injured veteran often falls on the shoulders of relatives, friends, or loved ones. Some caregivers feel overwhelmed by the demands. Others feel guilty or anxious about their ability to provide proper care. Stress may leave the caregiver unable to complete personal tasks. The person they care for may have a chronic illness or be experiencing the natural effects of aging. A loved one’s decline can be emotionally challenging and hard to accept.

Lack of Support

While veteran caregivers take care of our nation’s heroes, they are often too busy to find support for themselves. In addition, they often don’t have the family or social support needed to care for themselves effectively. Lack of self-care leads to burnout.

RCI understands the challenges of caregiving and offers programs to promote a caregiver’s overall health. Learn more about RCI’s caregiver support programs or contact rci.programs@rosalynncarter.org.

Celebrate Military Caregivers Month with RCI and thank a caregiver for their dedication and service. Please share this with friends and family – and post it on social media.

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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  1. Tara

    Veterans are being Targeted for their benefits. Myself, a disabled veteran and this past year my car company and bank has stolen money from me!! Dealing with severe PTSD makes it harder for me to get things done due to the level of stress it causes! Navy Federal Credit Union stole payments I was making to bills and keeping it then deleting it from the account. They would reject payments and causing fees. One creditor told me Navy Federal would shut down the account when they where trying to get a payment causing several payments to go through, when they returned the payment Navy Federal would take the money without showing it. I thought I was crazy til I figured it out!! BB&T did the same thing with my car payment.. Be ware of Navy Federal, you would think it would be pretty much stealing from the government since it’s disability!?

  2. Dustin D.

    The VA states that I receive 100% compensation because I am permanently and totally disabled, and Im unable to sustain gainful employment, due to my service connected disabilities. Contracted doctors for the Dept of Veterans Affairs, after dozens of appointments, all came to this conclusion. I worked after my military service, earning the necessary credits for SSDI. The SSA hasn’t sent me to a single doctor. They simply said they believe I can work. I’ve since produced the letter stating that I cannot work, due to service connected disabilities. I’ve got a hearing scheduled in approx 1.5 months. How could a judge rule anything but an award, with a federal entity explaining in writing that I meet the very definition of disabled as according to the SSA? This isn’t rhetorical. I’m looking for an actual answer to my question.

  3. G R.

    Can a veteran be able to choose their own doctors and hospitals outside the VA system of docs and hospitals and have VA pay the chosen doctors and hospitals with same coverage we would get through the VA? I am a vet, had a full team of doctors before I began receiving VA benefits because I was told I was not eligible for VA benefits when I left the service but the laws changed and thus I began eligible for healthcare benefits but want to continue with my own team of doctors chosen before I became eligible with VA? Does the Mission Act entitle me to use my own time with those people receiving pay from the VA for services and etc.?

  4. Luz

    It shocks me, this subject because is very expensive to have a Care Giver and Veterans Affairs has a 2 year waiting List, Also the requirement is not to be able to clean your private area, not able to bring a spoon to your mouth and not been able to walk. SoOO very touchy subject and most of us cannot afford it. Its not worth it to b mentioned in my most honest opinion. 🙁

  5. Greg N.

    You want to help veterans? I spent 20 years protecting and was willing to die for this country. Stop taxing my military retirement pay.

    • Jonny

      Thank you for your service and dedication to protecting our country. The topic of taxation on military retirement pay is a matter of public policy and legislation that varies from country to country. While I can understand your perspective and desire for tax relief, it is ultimately a decision made by lawmakers and government officials.

      To address your concern and make an impact, I would suggest taking the following steps:

      Contact Elected Representatives: Reach out to your local representatives, senators, or members of Congress to express your views on taxing military retirement pay. Share your personal experiences and the reasons behind your request for tax relief. They can provide insights into current legislation and advocate for changes that align with your concerns.

      Join Veterans Organizations: Consider joining veterans organizations or associations that advocate for the rights and well-being of veterans. These groups often work towards legislative changes and can amplify your voice by lobbying for reforms on issues such as taxation of military retirement pay.

      Raise Awareness: Utilize social media platforms, online forums, or traditional media outlets to raise awareness about the issue. Share your perspective and engage with others who may have similar concerns. Building public support and generating discussions can contribute to broader attention and potential changes in policy.

      Support Nonprofit Organizations: Look for nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting veterans’ rights and interests. These organizations often work to raise awareness, provide resources, and advocate for policy changes that benefit veterans. By supporting such organizations, you can contribute to their efforts in addressing issues like taxation on military retirement pay.

      Remember that affecting policy change often requires persistence, collaboration, and engagement with various stakeholders. By actively participating in the democratic process, you can make your voice heard and potentially influence decisions that impact veterans’ benefits.

  6. Mandy

    I applaud you
    Its hard work not to mention the mood swings and verbal abuse its all just added stress to the situation
    Condolences to you and your family

  7. lurleen t.

    I took care of my husband up until his death, April 18,2023, with my own illness but I made sure that his stays in the hospital was guarded and well looked after with all his illness, he was treated well by the VA, Thank them

    • Dustin D.

      So sorry for your loss. My condolences.

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