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Caregivers of Veterans Spend More than Other Caregivers

Family and others who provide care for veterans spend on average $11,500 of their personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving each year - 1.5 times higher than what other family caregivers spend ($7,242), according to AARP data.

And 43% of veteran and military caregivers experienced at least one financial setback such as having to take on more debt or dip into personal savings, according to research from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Across the country, more than 6.5 million veteran and military caregivers provide $14 billion in unpaid labor for America's wounded warriors every year - putting their own financial well-being at risk.

"The financial challenges veteran and military caregivers face are too often invisible or ignored," said Pete Jeffries, national director of AARP's Veterans & Military Families Initiative. "Caregiving responsibilities and expenses add up over time. From high prescription drug costs to handling medical tasks for combat-related injuries, these caregivers need support to make it easier for loved ones to live independently in their homes for as long as they can."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers support and resources for caregivers of veterans enrolled in VA health care through the VA Caregiver Support Program. This program provides caregivers with access to VA health care benefits, caregiver education, financial aid, mental health services and up to 30 days of respite care.

But only 34% of veterans have used their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


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