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Durbin Celebrates VA Caregiver Program

HINES, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is marking the two-year anniversary of the federal department of Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver program.

The Springfield Democrat visited the Hines VA Hospital on Friday to meet with veterans and their caregivers. 

The Family Caregiver Program provides support to family caregivers of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seriously injured in the line of duty.  It was created by a Durbin-authored provision in the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009.  The program provides family caregivers with a monthly stipend, an expanded mental health respite benefit, mental health treatment and enrollment in the VA's Civilian Health and Medical Program.  

According to Durbin's office, as of July 29, there were 259 family caregivers in Illinois and 10,984 nationwide participating in the program.  

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