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The United States Government Manual
810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420
Office of the Secretary
|SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS||Robert Wilkie|
|Deputy Secretary||James Byrne, Acting|
|Chief of Staff||Pamela Powers|
|EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE|
|Health||Richard A. Stone|
|Memorial Affairs||Randy C. Reeves|
|Congressional and Legislative Affairs||Brooks D. Tucker|
|Enterprise Integration||Melissa S. Glynn|
|Human Resources and Administration||Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, Acting|
|Information and Technology / Chief Information Officer||Camilo Sandoval|
|Management / Chief Financial Officer||Jon J. Rychalski|
|Public and Intergovernmental Affairs||John Ullyot|
|Accountability and Whistleblower Protection||Kirk M. Nicholas|
|Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction||Karen L. Brazell|
|Chair, Board of Veterans' Appeals||Cheryl L. Mason|
|Chief Veterans Experience Officer||Lynda C. Davis|
|General Counsel||Catherine Mitrano, Acting|
Office of Inspector General
|Inspector General||Michael J. Missal|
The Department of Veterans Affairs operates programs benefiting Veterans and members of their families: It offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service, home loan guaranties, pensions, burials, and health care that includes the services in clinics, medical centers, community living centers (which replace nursing home)s, and home- and community-based settings.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established as an executive department by the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (38 U.S.C. 201 note). It is comprised of three organizations that administer Veterans programs: the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration. Each organization has field facilities and a central office component. Staff offices support the overall function of the Department and its Administrations.http://www.va.gov/landing2_about.htm
The Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction (OALC) is a multifunctional organization responsible for directing the acquisition, logistics, construction, and leasing functions within the VA. The Executive Director, OALC, is also the Chief Acquisition Officer for the VA.http://www.va.gov/OALC
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is responsible for the management and oversight of 135 national cemeteries in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as 33 soldiers' lots, Confederate cemeteries, and monument sites. Burial in a national cemetery is available to eligible veterans, certain members of reserve components, and their spouses and dependent children. At no cost to the family, a national cemetery burial includes the gravesite, graveliner, opening and closing of the grave, headstone or marker, and perpetual care as part of a national shrine. If an eligible veteran is buried in an unmarked grave in a private cemetery anywhere in the world, NCA will provide a headstone or marker. A Government-furnished headstone or marker may be provided for eligible Veterans who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone. A Government-furnished medallion may be provided for eligible Veterans who served on or after Apr. 6, 1917 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. NCA's Veterans Cemetery Grants Program provides funds to State and tribal governments to establish, expand, or improve veterans' cemeteries. NCA issues Presidential Memorial Certificates to honor the memory of deceased veterans who are eligible for burial in a national cemetery.http://www.cem.va.gov
The mission of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs (OCLA) is to improve the lives of Veterans and their families by advancing pro-Veteran legislation and maintaining responsive and effective communications with Congress. OCLA coordinates the Department’s activities with Congress. It is the Department’s focal point for interactions and engagements with Members of Congress, authorization committees, and personal staff. Additionally, the Office is the Department’s liaison with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).https://www.va.gov/oca/
The mission of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP) is to develop partnerships with, provide relevant information to, and expand participation of faith-based, nonprofit, and community/neighborhood organizations in VA programs in order to better serve the needs of Veterans, their families, survivors, caregivers, and other beneficiaries.https://www.va.gov/cfbnpartnerships/
The Department's operations are handled through the following field facilities: cemeteries, medical centers, outpatient clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, and regional offices. Cemeteries provide burial services to Veterans, their spouses, and dependent children. Medical centers provide eligible beneficiaries with medical and other health care services equivalent to those provided by private sector institutions, augmented in many instances by services to meet the special requirements of Veterans. Outpatient clinics provide the most common outpatient services, including health and wellness visits, without the hassle of visiting a larger medical center. Community Living Centers (CLC) are skilled nursing facilities, often referred to as nursing homes. Veterans with chronic stable conditions such as dementia, those requiring rehabilitation or those who need comfort and care at the end of life are served within one of our 135 Community Living Centers. Domiciliaries provide a variety of care to Veterans who suffer from a wide range of medical, psychiatric, vocational, educational, or social problems and illnesses in a safe, secure, homelike environment. VHA continues to expand the network of outpatient clinics to include more rural locations, putting access to care closer to home.
Regional offices grant benefits and services provided by law for Veterans, their dependents, and beneficiaries within an assigned territory; furnish information regarding VA benefits and services; adjudicate claims and make awards for disability compensation and pension; conduct outreach and information dissemination; provide support and assistance to various segments of the Veteran population to include former prisoners of war, minorities, the homeless, women, and elderly Veterans; supervise payment of VA benefits to incompetent beneficiaries; provide vocational rehabilitation and employment training; administer educational benefits; guarantee loans for purchase, construction, or alteration of homes; process grants for specially adapted housing; process death claims; and assist Veterans in exercising rights to benefits and services.https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States. It provides hospital, long-term services and support in community living centers (which replace nursing homes)- and home- and community- based settings, domiciliary, and outpatient medical and dental care and community care to eligible Veterans of the Armed Forces. In addition to providing health care, VHA performs research, and assists in the education and training of physicians, dentists, and many other health care professionals through its affiliations with educational institutions and organizations. As of March 2017, VHA treated over 8.76 million patients in over 1,700 sites of care. VHA has 1,247 health care facilities, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,067 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics). In addition, VA purchases medical care when needed from community providers including long-term services and supports in community nursing homes, State Veterans Homes, and in home and community based settings. In 2016, VA hospitals had about 621,520 inpatient admissions and provided nearly 84 million outpatient visits. In addition to care delivered in the VA system, VA also delivers care to millions of Veterans in the community. The number of women Veterans receiving health care from VA more than tripled between 2000 and 2016, growing from 160,000 in 2000 to 475,000. VA hospitals provide more public data about quality and safety than any health care system in the world and held academic affiliations with more than 1,800 educational institutions. More than 123,552 health care students receive clinical training at a VA facility each year.
Historically, VHA has been at the forefront of medical research. The first electronic health record, cardiac pacemaker, bionic ankle, and successful liver transplant were all developed at VA. VA has also developed new drugs and treatments for acquired immune deficiency syndrome/human immunodeficiency virus, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis. Currently, VHA medical centers provide a wide range of services including traditional services such as primary care, surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy. Additional medical and surgical specialty services, including audiology & speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, palliative medicine, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology, vision care and extended care services; such as facility and community based long-term services and supports and hospice care are available. Some medical centers also offer advanced services such as organ transplants and plastic surgery. VA is also using Telehealth and Telemedicine to improve access to care, especially in remote areas.http://www.va.gov/HEALTH
The Advisory Committee Management Office (ACMO) provides administrative and management support to the Department’s 29 Federal Advisory Committees (as of July 2017). VA’s advisory committees solicit advice and recommendations from outside experts and the public concerning programs for which the Department is responsible for by law.http://www.va.gov/ADVISORY
The Center for Minority Veterans (CMV), established by the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 1994, identifies barriers to benefits and health care access, promotes awareness of minority Veteran-related issues, develops strategies for improving minority Veterans’ participation in existing VA programs, The CMV focuses on the unique and special needs of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans, which include American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives.http://www.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is the Department’s principal liaison to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Commerce, the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy for matters dealing with small and disadvantaged business activities. OSDBU’s mission is to enable Veterans to gain access to economic opportunity by leveraging the federal procurement system and expanding participation of procurement-ready small businesses.http://www.va.gov/osdbu
Office of Survivors Assistance (OSA) provides support to survivors of Veterans by identifying and informing them of the benefits and services offered by VA.https://www.va.gov/survivors/
The Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) renders final decisions on behalf of the Secretary on appeals from decisions of local VA offices. The Board reviews all appeals for entitlement to Veterans' benefits, including claims for service connection, increased disability ratings, total disability ratings, pension, insurance benefits, educational benefits, home loan guaranties, vocational rehabilitation, dependency and indemnity compensation, health care delivery, and fiduciary matters. The Board has jurisdiction over appeals arising from the VA regional offices, VA medical centers, the National Cemetery Administration, and the Office of General Counsel. The Board's mission is to conduct hearings and issue timely, understandable, and quality decisions for Veterans and other appellants in compliance with the requirements of law. Final BVA decisions are appealable to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.http://www.bva.va.gov
VBA provides information, advice, and assistance to Veterans, their dependents, beneficiaries, representatives, and others applying for VA benefits. It also cooperates with the Department of Labor and other Federal, State, and local agencies in developing employment opportunities for Veterans and referrals for assistance in resolving socioeconomic, housing, and other related problems.
VBA’s Compensation and Pension and Fiduciary Services are responsible for adjudicating claims for disability compensation and pension, specially adapted housing, accrued benefits, adjusted compensation in death cases, reimbursement for headstones or markers, allowances for automobiles and special adaptive equipment, special clothing allowances, emergency officers' retirement pay, Survivors' claims for death compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, death pension, burial and plot allowances, forfeiture determinations, and a benefits protection program for minors and incompetent adult beneficiaries.
VBA’s Education Service administers VA education benefits to Veterans, Servicemembers, National Guard members, Selected Reserve members, and eligible dependents. These benefits provide financial assistance for attending institutions of higher learning, non-college degree programs, on-the-job and apprenticeship training, flight training, distance learning, correspondence training, national testing programs, licensing and certifications, entrepreneurship training, work-study programs, and co-op training. Education Service also performs compliance surveys to ensure that approved programs are compliant with pertinent laws. Additional information is available at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
VBA’s Insurance Service operates for the benefit of Servicemembers, Veterans, and their beneficiaries. Customers can reach Insurance Service through the VA Insurance Center (phone, 800-669-8477). The Insurance Center performs a complete range of activities necessary to operate national life insurance programs. Activities include maintenance of individual accounts, underwriting functions, life and death insurance claims awards, and other insurance-related transactions for multiple insurance programs. The Insurance Center administers the Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Program for those disabled Veterans who receive a VA grant for specially adapted housing, and the Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance program for Veterans who receive a service-connected disability rating. In addition, Insurance Service oversees the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Programs, as well as the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection programs.
VBA’s Loan Guaranty Service is responsible for administering operations that include establishing the eligibility of Veterans for the program; ensuring VA credit, income, and appraisal requirements are met; managing a panel of appraisers and establishing a property value; approving grants for specially adapted housing; supervising the construction of new residential properties; making direct loans to Native American Veterans to acquire a home on trust land; servicing and liquidating defaulted loans; and disposing of real estate acquired as the consequence of defaulted loans.
VBA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service (VR&E) program provides assistance to Veterans and Servicemembers with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap, to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment. For those persons who are severely disabled and suitable employment is not an option, assistance may be provided to allow each person to live more independently. Through VA’s VR&E program, individuals may benefit from individual support, vocational counseling, evaluation of interest, aptitudes and abilities, training, employment assistance, and other rehabilitation services. In some cases, rehabilitation services are available to spouses and children of totally and permanently disabled Veterans as well as Survivors of certain deceased Veterans.
Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 18, VR&E provides vocational training and rehabilitation services to children with spina bifida having a parent who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era or who served in certain military units in or near the demilitarized zone in Korea between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971.
The Appeals Management Office assumes responsibility for and authority over all VBA appeals-related program policy, planning, budgeting, staffing, and other operational control as a separate entity under the VBA Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits (PDUSB). This office works closely with the Board of Veterans Appeals to better service Veterans and their families.http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits
The Center for Women Veterans (CWV), established by the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 1994, monitors and coordinates VA’s health care, benefits, services, and programs for women Veterans. CWV advocates a cultural transformation within VA and the general public to recognize the service and contributions of women Veterans and women in the military, and raises awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect. The CWV Director serves as the primary advisor to the SECVA on all matters related to policy, legislation, programs, issues, and initiatives affecting women Veterans.http://www.va.gov/WOMENVET
The "Veterans Health A–Z Index" includes frequent inquiries, popular subjects, and topics of critical importance to veterans and their caregivers.https://www.va.gov/health/topics
"VAntage Point" is the VA's official blog.http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The VA purchases goods and services on the national, regional, and local level from large and small businesses. Each VA facility has a local acquisition office that handles its procurement process.http://www.va.gov/oal/business/dbwva.asp | Email: email@example.com
The VA has the authority to award set-aside and sole source contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and to veteran-owned small businesses. This procurement authority extends the reach of the agency's mission of caring for the Nation’s veterans. Phone, 866-584-2344.https://www.va.gov/osdbu/verification/ | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The VA employs over 300,000 people in hundreds of professions. To fulfill its mission, the VA relies on claims examiners, dentists, management analysts, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, physicians, secretaries, and many additional types of professionals.www.vacareers.gov
In 2017, the VA ranked 17th among 18 large agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.https://bestplacestowork.org/rankings/detail/VA00
The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics posts reports, statistics, surveys, and other information on its website.https://www.va.gov/vetdata | Email: email@example.com
The FOIA requires that Federal agencies disclose records that information seekers request; however, some records or parts of them may be shielded from disclosure by one or more of nine statutory exemptions. A FOIA request should be sent by email, fax, or postal mail to the appropriate VA component where the desired document or record is kept.http://www.va.gov/oig/foia
If the information requester does not know which office or component maintains the desired document or record, he or she should contact the Director, FOIA Service, (005R1C), 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. Phone, 877-750-3642. Fax 202-273-0487.https://www.oprm.va.gov/docs/foia/VACO_FOIA_Offices_Contact_List.pdf
The VA website has a health benefits glossary.https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/resources/glossary.asp
The VA National Center for Patient Safety has a glossary of patient safety terms on its website.http://www.patientsafety.va.gov/professionals/publications/glossary.asp
The "National Cemetery Administration" website has a burial information database that is updated each day. The online locator allows users to search for the burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, State veterans cemeteries, and various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, as well as for the interment sites of veterans who were buried in private cemeteries and whose graves are marked with Government grave markers.http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/index.html
The Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War by providing pensions to disabled soldiers. More than 210 years later, the 40th President of the United States elevated the Veterans Administration to a cabinet-level executive department. The promotion brought with it a new name: the Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more about the history of the most comprehensive veterans assistance system in world, visit the "VA History" web page.https://www.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp?
Information and resources to help a homeless veteran find a home are available on the VA website.https://www.va.gov/homeless
This page provides a facility locator that allows users to search for VHA facilities by state or territory, street address, type of facility, and distance.https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/division.asp?dnum=1
The VA posts news releases online.http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel
The VA posts speeches online.http://www.va.gov/opa/speeches
The "My HealtheVet" website provides information and tools for veterans to partner with their health care team and improve health care management. The website allows veterans to refill VA prescriptions, track their delivery, and view medication lists; to monitor approaching VA appointments and receive reminders; to communicate online with health care teams; and to access medical records and add information to them. Phone, 877-327-0022. TTY, 800-877-8339.https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home
Public documents and information are available on the OIG's website. Complaints may be sent to the VA Inspector General (53E), P.O. Box 50410, Washington, DC 20091-0410. Hotline phone, 800-488-8244.http://www.va.gov/oig/default.asp | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The VA's "2017 Functional Organizational Manual—version 4.0" is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). The Department's organizational chart may be seen on page 2.https://www.va.gov/landing_organizations.htm
The "Federation of State Medical Boards" website has an online directory that allows users to search for information about physicians.http://www.docinfo.org/#/search/query
The National Center for PTSD is the world's leading PTSD and traumatic stress research and educational center. The website's home page has a helpful short video titled "What Is PTSD?" to explain the disorder. Information voice mail, 802-296-6300.https://www.ptsd.va.gov/
Contact the nearest regional Office of Public Affairs: Atlanta (404-929-5880); Chicago (312-980-4235); Dallas (817-385-3720); Denver (303-914-5855); Los Angeles (310-268-4207); New York (212-807-3429); or Washington, DC (202-530-9360). Representatives of the national media may prefer contacting the Office of Public Affairs in the VA Central Office, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. Phone, 202-461-7400.http://www.va.gov/opa
Information on books, factsheets, and other publications is available on the "Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs" website.http://www.va.gov/opa/publications
The website map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.http://www.va.gov/site_map.htm
To see all of the VA's social media accounts, visit the "Social Media Directory" web page.https://www.va.gov/opa/socialmedia.asp
Having fun together by participating in adaptive sports improves health, creates new friends, and elevates the quality of life. Many sports opportunities are available to veterans of all ages and abilities. To get started, visit the "National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events" website and speak with your VA clinical team about getting involved.https://www.blogs.va.gov/nvspse/ | Email: email@example.com
The VA maintains an online directory of veterans services organizations in Portable Document Format (PDF). For further information, contact the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. Phone, 202-273-6000.http://www.va.gov/vso
Women veterans, as a demographic, underutilize VA benefits and services. The main reason seems to be a lack of awareness that they are eligible recipients.https://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/ProgramOverview/wvcc.asp
For further information, contact the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. Phone, 202-273-6000.