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Disability Action Center NW

Veteran Directed Care Expansion?

In a statement released by The White House, it was announced that President Biden will sign an executive order (EO) that directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consider Veteran Directed Care (VDC) program expansion. As highlighted in the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) most recent newsletter, “this exciting EO creates new momentum for ACL’s work to strengthen the care infrastructure that helps people with disabilities and older adults live and fully participate in their communities.”

As part of VDC program startup, Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) identify their criteria for both target geographic area, as well as Veteran population based on their clinical needs. The Birmingham, Alabama VAMC is focusing on enrolling Veterans who are at highest risk of institutionalization, as well as Veterans who require ventilator support to ensure that Veterans’ care needs can be met in their homes. With their VDC partner Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging (M4A), the Birmingham VAMC began to support Veteran enrollment in VDC in early 2023. M4A has worked closely with their first successful referral from the VAMC and the Veteran’s family to create a needs-based assessment identifying his needs, goals, and preferences. The M4A counselor, in partnership with the Veteran and his family, has developed a person-centered plan of care that gives the Veteran control over who provides the care, the way their budget is spent, and what services they deem appropriate. M4A reflected recently that this program, “is a way to empower the Veteran and give control back to the individual in need.”