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New Telephone Assistance Program Helps Veterans And Their Caregivers
The toll-free VA caregiver support line is 1-855-260-3274
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs exists to help those who have served in our nation’s armed forces, but some veterans and their families have found it difficult to find out just how it can help them. Many caregivers near Del Mar have had a hard time searching for information about benefits, assistance, and programs that could give much-needed relief. A year ago this week, however, a good idea went a long way toward solving this problem.
Hotline Idea Started in 2011
Early in 2011, Deborah Amdur developed the idea of a single telephone hotline devoted to answering questions that elderly caregivers near Del Mar and across the country might have about VA issues. Others in the department agreed and the hotline was quickly set up.
At first, there were so many calls that additional personnel were added to the program. Obviously, the hotline filled an important need and continues to stay busy.
This informational service is different from most others of its kind. Calls from seniors and their often-stressed caregivers require great patience, thoughtfulness, and information gathering skills on the part of those answering the phones.
The average phone call over the past year was 45 minutes long, and employees note that many of the questions they answer concern serious, trying situations. Analysts follow up calls by using software to make sure that the needs of each caller are met.
Most Calls Coming From Locations With Many Retired Veterans
Caregivers near Del Mar have been some of the most frequent users of the new VA hotline; along with heavily populated New York and retirement hotspot Florida, California is one of the states with the most callers. The hotline also operates online, featuring a website where inquirers can submit their questions instead of calling them in.
While helping seniors get the information they need to make full use of their VA benefits can be a long, difficult process at times, the hotline operators value their opportunity to give back to those who have given so much by serving in the military. In fact, one of the hotline’s services offered on the VA website is to “just listen, if that’s what you need right now.”
As the program continues and develops new ways to improve accessibility to veterans, caregivers will also benefit as they are able to shift part of their heavy burden to their partners at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The toll-free VA caregiver support line is 1-855-260-3274.
You can view the original article at http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120206/NEWS01/202060308.