U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- 2010 Budget: $112.8 billion (total including collections) – $55.9 billion in discretionary funding (including collections) and $56.9 billion in mandatory funding
- Enacted 2009: $97.7 billion (total including collections) -- $50.4 billion in discretionary funding (including collections, not including ARRA funds) and $47.3 billion in mandatory funding
To honor America’s veterans and expand the services they receive, the Fiscal Year 2010 budget increases funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs by $25 billion over the next five years. The budget includes an 11 percent increase in resources for a discretionary funding level of $55.9 billion. The budget increases health care funding for veterans, enabling the VA to provide timely, high-quality care to 5.5 million veterans, develop Centers of Excellence, and enhance access to mental health and cognitive care. It also restores health care eligibility for modest-income veterans, steps up investment in technology for the delivery of services and benefits to veterans, and provides improved benefits for veterans who are medically retired from active duty. The budget provides for a collaborative pilot program with non-profit organizations to help veterans avoid homelessness, and for the timely implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to Americans who have served the country though military duty.
INCREASED FUNDING AND EXPANSION OF BENEFITS
- Increases funding for VA by $25 billion above the baseline over the next five years. The President’s budget takes the first step toward increasing funding for VA by $25 billion during the next five years in order to honor our nation’s veterans and expand the services they receive.
- Dramatically increases funding for VA health care. This increase will provide adequate resources to give 5.5 million veteran patients timely and high-quality care. This funding also enables VA to create Centers of Excellence and provides additional veteran-oriented specialty care in areas including prosthetics, vision and spinal cord injury, aging, and women’s health.
- Restores health care eligibility for modest-income veterans. The President’s budget expands eligibility for VA health care to non-disabled veterans earning modest incomes. This expansion will bring more than 500,000 eligible veterans into the VA health care system by 2013 while maintaining high-quality and timely care for the lower-income and disabled veterans who currently rely on VA medical care.
- Provides greater benefits for veterans who are medically retired from active duty. For the first time, highly disabled veterans who are medically retired from service will be eligible for concurrent receipt of full disability benefits from VA in addition to Department of Defense retirement benefits.
- Enhances outreach and services related to mental health care and cognitive injuries with a focus on access for veterans in rural areas. VA will increase the number of Vet Centers and mobile health clinics to expand access to mental health screening and treatment in rural areas. In addition, new funding will help veterans and their families to stay informed of these resources and encourage them to pursue needed care.
TECHNOLOGY FOR IMPROVED SERVICE DELIVERY
- Invests in better technology to deliver services and benefits to veterans with the quality and efficiency they deserve. Through improved electronic medical records, VA will more efficiently retrieve active duty health records from the Department of Defense and enable all VA care sites to access the records of veterans needing care. VA will also invest in the development of rules-based electronic processes to increase accuracy, consistency, and timeliness in veterans’ receipt of benefits.
COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS
- Facilitates timely implementation of the comprehensive education benefits veterans earn through their dedicated service. This budget provides the resources for effective implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill -- providing unprecedented levels of educational support to the men and women who have served our country through active military duty.
SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE VETERANS
- Combats homelessness by safeguarding vulnerable veterans. The President’s budget expands VA’s current services to homeless veterans through a collaborative pilot program with non-profit organizations. This pilot will help to maintain stable housing for veterans who are at risk of falling into homelessness while helping VA to continue providing them with supportive services.