Prominent Veterans Service Organizations Release Independent Budget Recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs
WASHINGTON, February 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Major Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) – DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) – published today The independent budget recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The report serves as a roadmap to ensure that VA is fully funded and able to carry out its mission of serving veterans and their families, now and in the future.
The Independent Budget (IB) recommendations, coupled with the administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2023, will be used to guide Congress in its spending decisions for the coming year. Current law requires the president to submit a budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February, but that benchmark has been routinely missed over the past two decades. According to media reports, this year’s submission may not arrive until March.
“As we enter 2022, the impact of COVID remains a challenge for VA, with the spread of the virus and disruptions to healthcare systems continuing,” said Randy Reese, executive director of DAV’s Washington headquarters. “In this environment, we have made prudent recommendations based on historical trends to ensure the needs of our country’s ill and injured veterans are met.”
For the 2023 financial year, the IBVSO recommends $121.2 billion for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to meet the comprehensive demand for care in both VA’s health care facilities and its community care networks. The IB report details specific funding levels and targeted increases for VHA programs, including a $490 million increase for the Caregiver Support Program, $395 million boost for homeless veterans programs; $288 million more for mental health services and suicide prevention efforts; $160 million increased health care for female veterans and minorities; and $1.8 billion to fill the gap in clinical care and support vacancies in VHA.
“This year’s IB recommendations also contain significant benefits for VA home and community services – something especially critical for our veterans with catastrophic disabilities,” said Carl Blake, Executive Director of PVA. “This includes additional funding to expand the Veteran-Led Care program at each VA medical center and more money for the Phase II expansion of the caregiver program to ensure it begins on time.”
For the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the IBVSOs recommend a total of $3.9 billion for fiscal year 2023, an increase of approximately $510 million on the estimated level of appropriations for the financial year 2022 – and $251 million for the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). IB recommendations include increased funding for Technology Employment Education Course Veteran (VET TEC) refresher programs and additional information technology (IT) funding for VBA and BVA to modernize their IT infrastructure, reduce backlogs and streamline benefit payments to the more than four million disabled veterans and their survivors.
“For more than 30 years, IBVSOs have been co-authors of the IB, providing substantive solutions and policy recommendations to ensure the timely delivery of specialist health care, as well as appropriate benefits for men and women. women who served,” said Bob Wallace, executive director of VFW’s Washington office. “While this year’s report is now complete, it is now imperative that Congress and VA work together, along with veterans service organizations and other veterans stakeholders to put the interests of veterans first. list.”
IBVSOs believe that VA infrastructure projects, including those that pose a safety risk to veterans and employees, should continue to be fully funded even as the Asset and Infrastructure (AIR) process unfolds over the next few years. years. To achieve this, the IB recommends that Congress adopt $3.8 billion for VA major and minor construction programs in fiscal year 2023 to fund major new and existing construction projects, begin planning and design development for the highest priority healthcare construction projects of VA and to strengthen support for minor construction projects on hold.
For the full IB budget and policy recommendations, go to independentbudget.org.
About DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
DAV enables veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to one purpose: to keep our promises to American veterans. DAV achieves this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fight for the interests of America’s wounded heroes on Capitol Hill; connecting veterans and their families to employment resources; and educate the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans returning to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than one million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more about DAV.org.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
PVA, founded in 1946, is the only congressionally chartered veterans services organization dedicated solely to the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For 75 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care at VA spinal cord injury centers; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for people with paralysis.
As a lifelong partner and advocate for veterans and all persons with disabilities, PVA also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities. through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, PVA serves veterans, their families and caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Colombiaand Porto Rico. Learn more about PVA.org.
About Veterans of the Foreign Wars of United States (VFW)
The United States Veterans of Foreign Wars is the nation’s largest and oldest veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressional chartered VFW is composed entirely of eligible veterans and military service members of the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With over 1.5 million VFW and Auxiliary members in more than 6,000 locations worldwide, the non-profit veterans services organization is proud to proclaim “NOBODY DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans service, legislative defense and the military. and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website VFW.org.
SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America