Program provides aid for seriously injured Soldiers
Story by: Katherine Rosario
IACH Public Affairs
A new program recently was authorized to provide monthly compensation to Soldiers who are catastrophically injured in the line of duty and need a non-medical attendant to perform daily tasks.
The Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living program helps Families by providing monetary compensation for care given by a non-medical attendant, normally a spouse or parent, said Lt. Col. Christopher Zielke, Warrior Transition Battalion commander.
"The WTB is the one heading up the new program because we have more severely injured Soldiers than other battalions, but it is open to any Soldier in the Army who meets the requirements," he said.
SCAADL helps offset the caregiver's loss of income by providing a paycheck based on the Soldier's complexity of care and the ZIP code they reside in. The wage rate also is based on the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate for home health aides.
The taxable payment is given directly to service members, and it is their responsibility to ensure the compensation is given to the caregiver.
The set amount of pay helps caregivers budget accordingly, where before they had to keep all their receipts to be reimbursed, Zielke said.
If a Soldier's care needs change, the amount of compensation given to the Soldier also can change.
"Many Soldiers only need this program for a few months until they are healed enough to start performing daily activities on their own," Zielke said.
All active-duty service members who incurred or aggravated a catastrophic injury or illness in the line of duty are eligible to apply for the program. Soldiers are not automatically enrolled in the program and must fill out form DD 2948 to be considered for compensation.
The form can be obtained through the Soldier's primary care physician or nurse care manager. It is then forwarded through their chain of command to the Warrior Transition Command for processing and payment.
Three tiers, low, medium and high, are used to determine the amount of compensation a caregiver receives.
Active-duty Soldiers are eligible for SCAADL until they are separated from the service and switch over to the Veterans Affairs program, or they no longer require assistance with activities for daily living.
"This is a top priority for the Army, and we want to make sure that everyone is educated about what the program has to offer," said Maj. Steven Meadows, WTB executive officer.
Each SCAADL recipient must recertify every 180 days or when medical or geographic conditions change to ensure payment is accurate.
"All Soldiers who enter the WTB will have to fill out this form from now on to see if they qualify, and every 180 days, we will re-evaluate them," Meadows said.
Soldiers may not designate another Soldier to become their caregiver.