Durbin Marks Anniversary of VA Assistance Program
As more injured members of the military return home, more soldiers and their families are applying for federal financial help.
Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin visited with families in Decatur and Springfield late last week, marking the one-year anniversary of the Family Caregiver Program.
The initiative through Department of Veterans Affairs provides technical, financial, and practical support to the families of those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Durbin says the measure allows these veterans to avoid an institutional setting, if they physically can stay at home.
"We're going to give that caregiver, usually a parents or a spouse, a helping hand financially with some nursing assistance," Durbin said. "It's the best possible thing for that veteran. I mean they couldn't be happier to me with their family. And it's the best thing for taxpayers. It's considerably less cost to them to make sure these veterans get the very best care."
When the program was launched, Durbin says he expected more than 3,500 families to use the program, but more than 5,000 have signed up, including 131 in Illinois.
The Senator says without the financial help, some veterans and their families were faced with losing their homes.