Yesterday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced its proposed budget for the next fiscal year of $132 billion. Of course, the goal of both the President and Secretary Shinseki is to use the budget to further transform VA into a 21st century organization by “making every dollar” count.

I had the opportunity to attend VA’s budget brief and wanted to share a few highlights with you.

The budget request seeks $51 billion for medical care. This would provide care for 6.2 million patients, including 540,000 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Of that $51 billion, $6.2 billion is for mental health programs, with $68 million specifically for suicide prevention. There is also a plan to increase funding for women-specific medical care by 12 percent.

Secretary Shinseki reaffirmed his commitment to break the back of the backlog of disability claims. By 2015, VA’s target is to provide Veterans with decisions on their claims within 125 days at a 98 percent accuracy rate. In doing this, VA plans to continue development of a paperless claims system to improve the efficiency of compensation and pensions claims processing.

Homelessness prevention is also a priority with nearly $940 million requested for programs.

As you might imagine, this is just a taste of what VA leaders briefed yesterday—and it’s only a small portion of what’s actually in the full budget proposal. If you’d like to learn more about VA’s proposed budget for next year, check out the 2012 Annual Budget Submission page on the website. And if you’re on Twitter, check out VA’s twitter account, where I live tweeted the event!

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Published on Feb. 15, 2011

Estimated reading time is 1.3 min.

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  1. Marrvin Quick March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    The VA Hospital in the Bronx NY. treated me with no respect.Not only was I in need of medicine,due to knee pain,But my arm was going numb ,which is why i was there anyway.Oh did i mention that i sat outside the emergency room for two whole hours and never been seen by triage,or a doctor.NO RESPESCT!!!! I had to leave to go to another hospital….IN Brooklyn.Once upon arriving there, Within five minutes I was admitted to triage,Where 10 minutes later a doctor saw me and treated me. Meanwhile back in the Bronx VA. They were upset that I came back just to see the director! They told me I was upsetting there office and had to leave.Never got to see the DIRECTOR as to date.Dont know whether if its worthwhile or not.All of this took place 02/11/2011 on a saturday morning.It’s my fault of getting sick.

  2. Charles Cauthen February 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Hey Kate, Tell me why there is no mention of the Viet Nam “AGENT ORANGE VICTIMS”. I watched SHENSICKI in front of congress when he used us in his plea for money, the President and Congress could not believe this abuse was still going on. Last week all regional claims offices were told to stop working on VN VETS CLAIMS. Kate, why was that? Do you think Congress, the President, the American public and all news medias should know this? Kate why would Mr. Shensicki do such a thing?

    Just curious,
    Charles T. Cauthen

  3. Joe Average February 17, 2011 at 12:07 am

    According to the website, the Veterans budget was increased by 23% in 2 years. How much of this 23% actually went to Veterans? Lets see…Vets got zero Cola for 2 years in a row, while government employees got their raises, and, VA execs got even bigger raises.
    Also, the claims backlog did not get smaller, it got bigger instead, so more than a million Veterans are waiting on benefits, and, when they get them they will be less because more will be deducted for prescription co-pays.
    So, can someone tell me how the VA is “Veteran-Centric” when it takes longer to deliver less compensation to Vets, while VA employees and executives get more? Last I checked there was no backlog on VA employee or executive compensation, so what is wrong with a “Pay Vets First” VA? To compensate VA executives with a “retention incentive” while watching the backlog pass one million Vets, does not sound like a Veteran-centric organization to me.

  4. Bob McCloud BMC Retired February 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Need to take care of the Vet’s they put their life on the line to protect this country. I retired 28 year’s ago and have alsway worn a base ball cap USCG retired and this year 2011 is the first time anyone has every come up to me and thank me for my servce, took 28 years to hear that.

    • Neal Daringer February 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Bob, We have never met. Otherwise I would have said something a long time ago.


      OIF 05-07 Veteran

    • Solarpete DC1 retired May 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      Bob want to know why because like you I too retired from the Coast Guard. No one cares and the only folks who will thank you is at Home Depot or Lowes. The rest of the world think the Coast Guard does nothing

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