Who They Are and What They Do…
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the American government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense. With a total 2009 budget of about $87.6 billion, VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices and is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. The benefits provided include disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, medical benefits and burial benefits.
As is common in any time of war, recently there has been an increased demand for nursing home beds, injury rehabilitation, and mental health care. VA categorizes veterans into eight priority groups and several additional subgroups, based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, and one’s income and assets (adjusted to local cost of living). *
The VA offers a pension called Aid and Attendance which is a Federal benefit that was added onto a need-based pension offered through The Department of Veteran Affairs. It provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who need assistance with their activities of daily living and meet specific requirements. Care provided in most Assisted Livings and Group Homes qualifies under this benefit.