Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (Federal Agency Profiles)
ESTABLISHED: March 15, 1989
ADDRESS: 810 Vermont Ave. NW Washington, DC 20420
PHONE: (202) 273-4900
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: Togo D. West, Jr.
WHAT IS ITS MISSION?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established by an act of Congress in 1989 to replace the Veterans Administration, which was founded in 1930. The continuing mission of the VA is to assist and provide for veterans and the families of veterans. The programs of the VA are designed to benefit veterans and their families by providing them with disability benefits, pensions, and health care. By administering the National Cemetery System (NCS), the VA also maintains responsibility for and recognition of deceased veterans. The VA's motto, a quote from Abraham Lincoln, states that the VA exists to "care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan."
HOW IS IT STRUCTURED?
The VA is a federal department that is part of the executive branch and has cabinet rank. Its head official, the secretary of veterans affairs, is appointed by the president and confirmed...
(The entire section is 3504 words.)
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Veterans Affairs Department (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates programs to benefit veterans and members of their families. Benefits include compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service, pensions, education, and rehabilitation. The VA also guarantees home loans, provides burial services for veterans, and operates a medical care program that includes nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. Located in Washington, D.C., the VA in 2003 had 224,724 employees, a workforce second in size only to the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT. The department's projected budget for FY 2003 was 459.6 billion.
The Department of Veterans Affairs was established in 1989 as an executive department by the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (38 U.S.C.A. § 201 note). Its establishment came after more than 24 years of effort by members of Congress to elevate the department's predecessor, the Veterans Administration, to cabinet status. Proponents argued that promotion to cabinet level would increase the political accountability of the VA and improve the quality of its services. The Veterans Administration was established as an independent agency by
presidential EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 5398 of July 21, 1930, in accordance with the act of July 3, 1930 (46 Stat. 1016). This act authorized the president to consolidate and coordinate...
(The entire section is 1839 words.)