Military Caregiver

Military Caregiver Resources

Last Updated: May 07, 2018
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Every caregiving situation is unique, but they all involve strong emotions and concerns. It is okay to admit that you never expected to be in this role as a caregiver. Acknowledging the impact of caregiving on your life and your feelings only reinforces that you are human and that you have needs and concerns too.

Caregiving is challenging, but there is hope and you don’t have to go it alone! For some, asking for help can be difficult, but it can be the best way to stay healthy and continue giving care.

Adapted from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, http://extensiononline.tamu.edu/courses

Helping Military Caregivers Care for Themselves

Caring for a Service member can be overwhelming and negatively impact your health and well-being. Research shows that post-9/11/01 Military Caregivers experience worse health outcomes, greater relationship strain and more workplace challenges than other caregivers (source: RAND Hidden Heroes Report, 2014).

It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed by your new role, isolated, tired, unable to talk to the person you’re caring for or even family and friends about what you are going through and the military health care system can seem daunting to navigate.

  • Chaplains and health care providers can help you with the emotional impact of caregiving.
  • Military caregiver support groups provide a connection to others who understand what you are going through. For guided caregiver support groups: http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/caregiver-resources/
  • Ombudsmen: http://armymedicine.mil/Pages/ombudsman.aspx, and Wounded Warrior Hotlines can assist you in finding all of the services that you and your service member are going to need. Whether you are having trouble understanding the Integrated Disability Evaluation System Information (IDES) process: http://www.wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-ides.html, need help getting a Power of Attorney, or want to talk to other Military Caregivers, they are standing by ready to support you.
  • Online resources and military agencies are also available to help. Below are just a few organizations that support Military Caregivers. For a complete list of over 17,000 Government and non-Government resources, please consult the National Caregiver Resource Directory: http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/nrd/

Call Centers That Provide Support for Military Caregivers

Help is just a call away! If you are a Military Caregiver and you need help, please use the following phone numbers which are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

IMPORTANT: If this is a medical emergency situation, please call 911 and/or contact your local hospital right away. Do not use Military Caregiver phone numbers and contacts to report medical/clinical information or real-time medical emergencies. Do not submit personally identifying information beyond your name and phone number or email address. If additional personal information is required to assist you, we will request it after you initially contact us.

Suicide Crisis Lines

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

Wounded Warrior Help Lines

  • Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, E-mail:  afwounded.warrior@us.af.mil
  • AFW2 Toll-free:  800-581-9437
  • Army Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline: 1-800-984-8523;
    • Stateside DSN: 421-3700;
    • Overseas DSN: 312-421-3700;
    • E-mail: usarmy.jbsa.medcom.mbx.medcom-wsf-support@mail.mil
  • Navy Safe Harbor-Severely Injured Support: 877-746-8563

 General Assistance Help Line

  • Military One Source: 800-342-9647

Online Military Caregiver Resources

Many resources are available for caregivers. Wounded Warrior Hotlines and Ombudsmen can help you identify local resources. Some national resources are listed below. The Community Resource Guide is a one-stop shop that helps community members and Caregivers quickly access resources at their installation to meet their particular need.

 Topic Link or Contact Description Who is this resource for?
 Benefits for Caregivers

Compensation and Benefits

SCAADL (Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living) from DoD Warrior Care

SCAADL is an authorized compensation to eligible members of the Active or Reserve Component to offset the economic burden borne by a Caregiver.

Service Members to offset the cost borne by their Caregivers

Compensation and Benefits

Travel Authorizations for Family members: The DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) Travel Pay Customer Service Center phone number: 1-888-332-7366

Each service has a unique process for issuing orders and reimbursing expenses. 

Family members of Service members

Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act from U.S. Department of Labor

Under the FMLA, your family may have job protection  for up to 26 weeks when they take time off from work to care for a member of the Armed Forces.

Family Caregivers of Service members and veterans

Respite Care

Respite Care from TRICARE

Tricare’s respite program provides up to 8 hours/day of respite care, 5 days a week for the primary caregiver of active duty, Guard and Reserve Service members injured in the line of duty. 

Tricare beneficiaries

VA Programs

VA Caregiver Support from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Caregivers of post 9/11 Service members who incurred a serious injury or mental disorder may apply for the VA Caregiver Program. Information and support are available to all caregivers, but caregivers must meet certain criteria to qualify for  entitlements, such as stipends, health insurance  and respite care.  

Veteran Caregivers and Caregivers of Service members who have been issued a date of medical discharge

 Caregiver Health and Wellness

Caregiver Stress

Caregiver Stress Assessment from After Deployment

Take an anonymous Caregiver assessment that helps identify your level of stress and provides tailored resources depending on your responses. 

All Military Caregivers

Comprehensive Resource Listings

Caregiver Resources from DoD Warrior Care

DoD Warrior care provides resources and information exclusively for Military Caregivers including guided peer forums and a National Resource Directory.

All Military Caregivers

Comprehensive Resource Listings

Wellness Resources from After Deployment

A library of multimedia presentations and assessments on a variety of wellness topics.

All Military Caregivers, Service members and family members

Family Resources

Army Family Programs from Army OneSource

Provides a clearinghouse of family programs for readiness, child, youth and school services and education and careers.
Click Family Programs and Services on the navigation bar then select a Program.

Army beneficiaries

Family Resources

Children of Wounded Warriors: Guidance for Caregivers from Extension

The Cooperative Extension System provides tools for helping children cope with the emotional impact that a Wounded Warrior may have on their lives. 

All Military Caregivers and family members

 How These Military Processes Work

About IDES (Integrated Disability  Evaluation System)

Integrated Disability Evaluation System from Health.mil

The DHA (Defense Health Agency) provides  information about the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, the process the  Department of Defense uses to determine a Service member’s fitness for duty.  

Service members and their support network

About MHS (Military Health System) Recovery Process

Keeping It All Together Notebook from Military OneSource

"Keeping it all Together" is a combination DoD guide/notebook. It provides a place to document medical notes, keep track of medicines and learn about Travel orders and lodging for Family members during a  Wounded Warrior's stay at a Military Treatment Facility. The guide assists the family with basic needs from their first day at the MTF and helps  them through every phase of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.

Military Caregivers who are family members

 Resources for Transitioning Service members and their Caregivers

Compensation and Benefits

Wounded, Ill, and/or Injured Compensation And Benefits Handbook from DoD Warrior Care

A reference guide that answers the most pressing questions from the point of injury to when the Service members returns to duty or transitions to their civilian community. 

Service members and their support network

Comprehensive Resource Listings

The Soldier For Life - Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP)

The Soldier For Life - Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) is the Army's transition program providing Soldiers and their Caregivers the counseling, employment, and education workshops necessary for a successful transition back to civilian life.

Caregivers and Family members including extended family members of Soldiers enrolled in IDES are eligible to receive full SFL-TAP services.

Mobile Apps

Mobile Applications from DHA (Defense Health Agency)

These behavioral health mobile apps are designed to help reduce symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress, depression, insomnia, nightmares and more.

Service members and their support network

Wounded Warrior Programs

Army Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCT)
Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (USMC WWR)
Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor (NWW)
Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2)

Wounded Warrior programs by service branch to help enrolled Service members and their Families with medical and non-medical issues in their transition back to duty or civilian life.

Service members and their support network

 Training for Military Caregivers

Military Caregiving Courses

Military Caregiving Course offered through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension provides extensive courses for Military Caregivers and Professionals serving  Caregivers.

All Military Caregivers