This week, as a part of the government-wide Open Data Policy, VA launched its open data webpage. The page aims to introduce the user to VA’s open data, convey a clear and simple understanding of what open data is, and highlight a few of the most valuable open data sets: VA Facilities Locations, Homeless Resources, and Family Caregiver Services.

In addition to offering the VA data sets, the new page directs users to, where they can explore 171 open data sets.

Over the next few months, VA’s open data team will create a fully functional data catalog that can be accessible and useable by the public, and by VA and other federal employees.

Like other federal agencies, VA collects and creates data related to the needs of Veterans and the work of the department. Some of it is already available online but can be hard to find, understand and use. In keeping with the Open Data Initiatives that this administration has launched over the past few years, VA has been making more of its data open and available to the public.

After all, the work of the federal government is paid for by taxpayers and when possible, data that is public should be accessible and usable by all of us.

Already, VA has been working with partners like the Feast to use open data to create products of value for Veterans and their families. In the coming months, VA’s open data team will scale up efforts to create valuable and informative products by convening designers, developers and entrepreneurs to use open data in new ways.

Our team is looking to the public for feedback and prioritization of future data releases. You tell us: How can we improve? What data sets would be valuable to you?

Of course, not all data can be public, but if it can be, it’s a conversation we want to have. So pay us a visit, make sure to provide your feedback and keep in touch @OpenVetAffairs!

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Published on Dec. 5, 2013

Estimated reading time is 1.7 min.

Views to date: 94


  1. Chuck December 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    To all who proudly served. Remember that time your knee, ( shoulder, back, ankle) went south after busting your butt in the motor pool, (Air Defense unit, Infantry training) because you worked for (XXX) hours straight. Your out now and the knee is sore but you live with it. The shoulder us always sore but you break out the sling on the weekends. Imagine 15 years from now when the arthritis is getting worse and you are limping around. Maybe you thought you could just tough it out. You said C&P was for whimps. Now you have a shot knee and the limp is throwing your back out. 6 more years and now they say you need back surgery. You are helping your second kid through college but the boss says you just can’t handle the work anymore and so adios. You have no record with the VA cause’ you were proud. Now you are out of a job, in constant pain, and your kid quits school to “come home and help the old man”. Had you gone to that C&P at the VA 22 years ago, things might look a bit more hopeful right now. The 1% sacrifices for the 99%. Be proud, proud of your service to the country, but be smart too.

  2. Chuck December 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I know an Air Force Vet that is going through a similar hurry up and wait. She was too patriotic to file a claim. I learned that she was so good at drilling that the AF used her to march 100’s of soldiers in boots on asphalt for many hundreds of hours. She ruined her knees and at 46 y/o can hardly walk. She was in a wheelchair for six months last year. I encouraged her to file. The VA sent her to a contract doc in a shabby office. He only ones at one knee because that’s all the request the VA sent him. Her ankles are in rough shape too and swell up like baloons. Still no action…… finally she got with VFW and let them know how severe the impact was on her life. She gave her knees and ankles to the USA in her 20’s and will live with pain and disability for the rest of her life. Still no action after many months. She is going to her mental health appointment next, begrudgingly, as she is a PROUD VETERAN. That is what many don’t understand; the proud service turned humiliating begging…… just sucks! Imagine the backlog if the real number of damaged young heroes decided to put pride aside and go in for a Comp and Pen Eval. Try a service org like DAV or VFW. My experience is they are dedicated and qualified and devoted to Veterans.

  3. Chuck December 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Very unfortunate and stressful situations for both of you. I spent 5 years active and additional 8 in Gaurd / Reserves. Ssgt Army and finally GS 12,in VA. Hard work not ass kissing. I worked for VA for 20+ years and gave 120% to my job. 100 to the job and the extra to the vets I served and the American Taxpayer. No brag just fact.,I felt a sense of duty to those Veterans, many of which may have served with my dad in WWII, or thanklessly in Nam. I know there are many dedicated VA employees working under the stress of too much work and too few employees to accomplish the work. Still; NO EXCUSES JUST RESULTS PLEASE! The beauracracy and some middle managers who have never ‘served’ just seem to continue to CYA instead of sticking their necks out for the veteran. I would suggest a back door type approach where you make a medical appointment with mental health services to explain the increasing stress you are under because of all of this waiting. The impact in your day to day mental health may be more than you realize and could spill over to your family, your job etc… A social worker and psychologist report might just help get the ball rolling. Top down doesn’t seem to phase them so maybe a bottom up or end around approach.

  4. Winston D. Wilson December 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Part 1 We Will Stand By Your Side. Thank You. Mr. President. VA Disability Claims Backlog Reduced by 34 Percent Department of Veterans Affairs, Today is November 26, 2013 – The Department of Veterans Affairs has made significant progress in reducing the backlog of disability compensation claims from 611,000 to 400,835 or 34 percent since March. Happy Veteran’s Day from this Veteran, I would have liked to be in that 34th percent. This agency is not above the law. My veteran’s disability claim came from the Board of Veterans appeals case SS405928848 docket number 09-12543, was sent to the VA Lou.KY for “expeditious treatment” on June 18, 2013. Today is December 2, 2013 and my claim #405928848 has not received expeditious treatment by the VA in Lou., KY. In fact when contacted by the Senator in KY. six times, October 29, 2013, October 17, 2013, September 4, 2013, August 23, 2013, and August 16, 2013, and also by President Barrack Obama’s Office (Laura H. Eskenazi ) DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: Chairman, Board of Veterans’ Appeals Washington, DC 20420 Reply to 014CLB1302 SS405928848 WILSON, Winston D. October 25, 2013, the White House Liaison and Executive Officer in Charge for President Barrack Obama on August 8, 2013, the response from the VA Regional Office in Lou., KY has been from Michael Rodgers, VBALOUV RE: Wilson is there has been no change in the status and I cannot provide a specific timeframe for completion of the claim. The directive from the Veterans Appeals Board, Case #405928848 states the following directive to receive “expeditious treatment” from the VA Regional Office in Lou., KY as of June 18, 2013. The Veterans Appeal Board made the following corrections to the file. This is the second time President Barrack Obama office had to get involved to make the VA do their job. The first time was in April 13, 2011 when David J. Davis Director, By the Direction of the Under Secretary for Benefits, the case began being processed through the VA Board of Veterans after a period of no action. The reference number was 327/PCT/plw CSS 405928848 WILSON, Winston D. Number 1 that the active duty Service time of the Veteran shall be from 1985 until 1998, 14 years of active duty service. Some of the active duty service time is reflected in the schools the soldier was granted proficiency in (MOS jobs) within the Army. It is supported by orders in active service capacity of the duty of the 6 units the veteran served in the veterans file.
    Part 2 Number 2 page 8 claim 405928848 “A medical opinion without examination will be sufficient in this case.” VA…

    • Dr. David Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Ret) December 7, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Mr. Wilson, I’m so sorry you are having to go through all this. Like you, my claim has been stuck at the Regional Office for six years, three of that waiting for a DRO review before going to the BVA. “Expeditious” means something different to the VA than to the rest of the world; of that I am certain. I doubt anyone from the VA will read your note, or if they do will take any action of substance on it. If they were interested in resolving it, they would have acted when you contacted them, but especially when you senator contacted them one of the six times or when the President’s office contacted them, you would think!

      In any case, I wish you the best of luck in getting your case resolved and hope you get a favorable result as soon as possible. As for me, I’m just hoping to get my case resolved at least a week before I die so the backpay check won’t have to be returned and my wife can at least enjoy the money after my funeral!

      Regards from your Brother in Arms, Dave

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