The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal government agency responsible for providing a wide range of services and benefits to veterans of the United States Armed Forces, as well as their dependents and survivors. Established in 1930, the VA’s primary mission is to ensure that veterans receive the care, support, and resources they need following their military service.
The Department of Veterans Affairs operates a vast network of medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, known as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Through the VHA, the VA provides comprehensive healthcare services to eligible veterans, covering medical, dental, mental health, and specialized treatments.
In addition to healthcare, the VA administers various benefits programs to support veterans and their families. These programs include disability compensation, pensions, education and vocational training assistance, home loan guarantees, life insurance, and burial benefits. The VA is also involved in providing assistance and support to homeless veterans, helping them access housing, employment, and other essential services.
The VA’s responsibilities extend beyond just healthcare and benefits. The department is also involved in the management of national cemeteries, ensuring that eligible veterans receive dignified burial services. The VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) maintains and operates these cemeteries, providing final resting places for veterans and their eligible family members.
Furthermore, the VA plays a role in research and development related to healthcare and treatments for veterans. It conducts studies, clinical trials, and innovative research initiatives to improve medical care, address veterans’ unique health challenges, and advance medical knowledge in areas such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and military-related exposures.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is a cabinet-level position in the U.S. federal government. The VA operates numerous regional offices across the country, known as Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) offices, where veterans can apply for and receive assistance regarding benefits and claims.
VA Benefits Hotline: 800-827-1000
GI Bill Hotline: 888-442-3838
National Call Center For Homeless Veterans: 877-424-8387