New era? More help for Moms caring for our vets? is news you may want to share with a friend! There’s a newly recognized category of people who serve the nation: the family caregivers of post 9/11 veterans seriously injured in combat. Many of these caregivers—who often give up their careers to provide full-time care—are Moms.

Now there’s more real support for these caregivers. Timed for Mother’s Day, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs just posted an interim final rule that allows the department to provide enhanced services to Moms and other family members who take care of injured vets at home. These services include monetary payments, health insurance, expanded training, and more.  The expanded services are added to the services the VA already provides to vets.

An “interim final rule” is stronger than the label may suggest. It has the full force and effect of law. We’re now in a comment period, and the VA may take these comments into account and revise the rule. But there’s no going back. The rule is law.

“We at VA know that every day is a challenge for our most seriously injured Veterans and their Family Caregivers,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki in a press release. “I know many Veterans and their Family Caregivers have been waiting anxiously for this day and I urge them to get their applications in as soon as possible so they can receive the additional support they have earned.” Eligible veterans are those who have been seriously injured in combat since 9/11. The list of serious injuries includes traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, and other mental disorders.

Here is where you can learn more and apply:

This VA website report includes a link to begin downloading the application on May 9. And, for more information, here’s another story about the new program.

The VA says the new rule ushers in a “new era” in the provision of enhanced services for family caregivers.

If you’re a veteran, we especially want to hear from you. 

What do you think of the new rule? 

Is it enough? 

Is it a “new era”?

 (Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)

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