NPR, December 18, 2018
Quil Lawrence


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[...] The program was set up to support family members of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They're mostly wives and mothers who receive a VA stipend to provide home health care that would otherwise cost the VA millions of dollars.

When it started in 2011, vets signed up in huge numbers, quickly overwhelming the VA staff assigned to the program.

In recent years many VAs have drastically cut their rolls — often with little explanation to the caregivers.

The cuts come at a time the program is supposed to be growing. Congress approved a major expansion of the program in May, though implementation could take years.

Congressional sources confirmed that the VA has missed its first deadline in October to implement new information technology for the caregiver expansion — raising serious concerns of further delay. VA says the department will not deploy the new system until it is ready and has been tested thoroughly.

But VA also recently blew through a deadline to fix the IT for a new GI bill rule, and did so without initially telling Congress about the delay. [...]

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