United States Veterans' Administration

United States Veterans' Administration The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a federal Cabinet-level agency that provides near-comprehensive healthcare services to eligible military veterans at VA medical centers and outpatient clinics located throughout the country; several non-healthcare benefits including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, and life insurance; and provides burial and memorial benefits to eligible veterans and family members at 135 national cemeteries.While veterans benefits have been provided since the American Revolutionary War, an exclusively veteran-focused federal agency, the Veterans Administration, was not established until 1930, and became the cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989.VA employs 377,805 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, benefits offices, and cemeteries.

In Fiscal Year 2016, net program costs for the department were $273 billion, which includes VBA Actuarial Cost of $106.5 billion for compensation benefits. The long-term actuarial accrued liability is $2.491 trillion for compensation benefits; $59.6 billion for education benefits; and $4.6 billion for burial benefits.The agency is led by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who—being a cabinet member—is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.HistoryContinental CongressThe Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the American Revolutionary War by providing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. Direct medical and hospital care given to veterans in the early days of the U.S. was provided by the individual states and communities. In 1811, the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans was authorized by the federal government, but not opened until 1834. In the 19th century, the nation's veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for veterans, but also their widows and dependents.

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