§ 71.50Provision of certain counseling, training, and mental health services to certain family members of veterans.
(a)Benefits provided under this section. VA will provide consultation, professional counseling, marriage and family counseling, training, and mental health services to a family member when necessary in connection with the treatment of a disability for which the veteran is receiving treatment through VA. For the purposes of this section, provision of a benefit is “in connection with the treatment” of a veteran's disability if, in the clinical judgment of a VA medical professional who is providing treatment to the veteran, the provision of the benefit to the family member would further the objectives of the veteran's medical treatment plan. The listed benefits provided under this section are to be provided within the following guidelines:
(1) All benefits will consist of psychotherapy, counseling, training, or education; VA will not provide prescriptions or medications to family members. VA also will not provide inpatient services under this section.
(2) This section does not authorize the provision of clinical evaluation or treatment that is not necessary in connection with the veteran's treatment or that involves treatment other than consultation, professional counseling, marriage and family counseling, training, and mental health services.
(3) Marriage and family counseling includes services to help the veteran address mental health issues, manage physical health problems, and strengthen environmental supports as specified in the veteran's treatment plan. It also includes interventions to reduce the negative impact for the veteran of mental illnesses or other medical conditions in family members.
(b)Definition of family member. For the purpose of this section, which provides certain benefits and services to eligible family members, a family member is:
(1) A person related to the veteran by birth or marriage who lives with the veteran or has regular personal contact with the veteran;
(2) The veteran's legal guardian or surrogate;
(3) A Primary or Secondary Family Caregiver or a General Caregiver; or
(4) The individual in whose household the veteran has certified an intention to live.
(c)Family members or caregivers who need treatment not related to the treatment of the veteran. Where a VA clinician believes that medical care or services are needed for a family member but cannot provide benefits under this section because such need is not necessary in connection with the treatment of the veteran, VA may refer such family member to an appropriate provider in the community, so that the family member may obtain care through other health coverage including care to which a Primary or Secondary Family Caregiver may be eligible under this part.