Veterans and family caregivers who have been given an unfavorable decision regarding the Program for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) can now directly appeal their cases to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board).
VA Disability Group PLLC is proud to assist all veterans and family caregivers who have been denied access to PCAFC benefits or otherwise been given insufficient support based on their needs.
A New Way to Appeal PCAFC Decisions
Prior to the decision on the class action lawsuit Beaudette v. McDonough in April 2021, PCAFC appeals were only allowed via review by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The lawsuit first came about when a Marine veteran with a 100% disability rating and his spouse were unable to appeal their denied application for PCAFC benefits. They eventually found themselves without any other recourse but to sue for the ability to appeal via another method, which resulted in a new policy allowing veterans to appeal directly via the Board.
In anticipation of a higher volume of appeals and in accordance with the court ruling, VA began notifying veterans of the changed policy via letter. Mailings were staggered to help VA deal with the increased appeals, so you may or may not have received this letter. Bear in mind, you do not need to have received a letter to be able to appeal a decision to the Board. You may file your appeal at any time. In fact, the sooner the better.
But Wait, What is PCAFC?
PCAFC is a program offered by VA to assist family caregivers of eligible veterans who have incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty. Injuries must have occurred on or before May 7, 1975, or on or after September 11, 2001. It provides resources like education, mental health counseling, respite care, financial stipends, CHAMPVA health insurance, and beneficiary travel benefits.
Eligible veterans must has a single or combined service-connected disability rating of 70% or higher, and also be in need of personal care services for sustained periods of six months or more due to inability to perform an activity of daily living (ADL) or a need for supervision, protection, or instruction.
To apply for PCAFC, the caregiver and the veteran must jointly fill out VA Form 10-10CG Application for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, and send to VA.
How Should I Appeal a PCAFC Decision?
If you take issue with a part of a decision, or the full decision, you can file an appeal. You must be clear on what your issues are, and you may appeal more than one decision at a time.
For decisions issued on or after February 19, 2019, you may choose to appeal via the new method—a direct appeal to the Board, or by VHA clinical review process, or by submitting a request for a Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review.
For decisions made before February 19, 2019, you may appeal any decisions to the Board. To do so, submit VA Form 10-307, Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to Veterans Affairs Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin.
If you need more information about your decision to complete a Notice of Disagreement, you can fill out VA Form 10-306 – Request for Information About Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) Decisions. VA will be able to send your decision records for your review. If you have trouble collecting the necessary information to start building your appeal, we can help.
Get Professional Assistance With Your Appeal
The benefits provided by PCAFC are incredibly valuable to eligible veterans and their family caregivers. If this program is new to you and you believe you are eligible, we encourage you to apply immediately. If you have been unfairly denied PCAFC benefits or have been given an unfavorable decision, you can dispute it today. For professional assistance with your PCAFC appeal from a VA-accredited attorney, contact VA Disability Group PLLC online or at 844-VET-LAWS today.