VA PROCESSING HUNDREDS OF APPLICATIONS FOR NEW FAMILY CAREGIVER BENEFITS IN FIRST WEEK

In the first week for open applications, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has assisted more than 625 Veterans, Servicemembers and their Family Caregivers in applying for new services under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010. “We are off to a good start having helped hundreds to apply, but we know there are thousands more who will qualify and need to apply today,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “I encourage eligible Veterans and their Family Caregivers to apply now to receive the benefits they have earned.” New services for primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans include a stipend, mental health services, and access to health care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services under a health plan. The stipend portion of this service will be backdated to the date of the application. Comprehensive Caregiver training and medical support are other key components of this program. VA began processing applications for eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Servicemembers to designate a Primary Family Caregiver on May 9, 2011. On top of receiving the 625 plus applications, Caregiver Support Coordinators have also assisted nearly 1,200 other Caregivers in finding more than two dozen other Caregiver benefits VA provides.Applications can be processed by telephone through the Caregiver Support Line at (855) 260-3274, in person at a VA Medical Center with a Caregiver Support Coordinator, by mail or online at www.caregiver.va.gov with the new Caregiver Application (VA Form 1010-CG). The website application also features a chat option that provides the Family Caregiver with a live representative to assist in completing the application form. (VA News Release, May 18, 2011)

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP