There are three administrations under the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA). This post will focus on the VHA.
The VHA provides medical assistance through the administration and operation of numerous VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, Community Based Outpatient Clinics, and VA Community Living Center programs.
Their mission is to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional healthcare that improves their health and well-being.
VHA Medical Centers provide a wide range of services including, but not limited to, surgery, mental health, pharmacy, and radiology. Most centers also offer additional services such as dermatology, dental, vision, neurology, and prosthetics.
Patient advocates are available at every medical center and help resolve concerns and any aspect of the health care experience. They listen to problems, questions or special needs and refer patients to the appropriate medical center staff.
“The VHA will continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in healthcare and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient centered and evidence based. This care is delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment which supports learning, discovering, and continuous improvement. It will emphasize prevention and population health and contribute to the nations’ well-being through education, research, and service to the Nations’ emergencies.”
Just before the Civil War ended, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to establish a national soldiers and sailors asylum. In 1873, it was renamed as the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. It was the first ever government institution created specifically for honorable discharged volunteer soldiers. These became the template for VA Hospitals.
By 1929, the system had grown to 11 institutions and accepted veterans of all American wars. World War II brought the establishment of the 2nd largest system of veterans’ hospitals. A program began of building new ones. The VA’s Department of Medicine and Surgery evolved into the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in 1991.
Today, this division employs more workers than all other areas of the VA combined. New programs provide treatment for traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, suicide prevention, women veterans, and more. Outpatient clinics and telemedicine services are now open to accommodate a diverse veteran population.
The VHA operates one of the largest healthcare systems in the world and provides training for most of America’s medical and nursing health professionals. Roughly 60 percent of all medical residents receive a portion of their training at a VA hospital. Additionally, the VHA has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930 to 152 hospitals, 800 community-based outpatient clinics, 126 nursing home care units and 35 domiciliaries. Now the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., it consists of 1233 health care facilities, 168 VA medical facilities, 1,053 outpatient sites of care, and serves nearly 9 million veterans a year.
Eligibility for Benefits
To be eligible to receive VA health care benefits, you must have served in the active military, naval or air service and separated under any condition other than dishonorable.
The minimum duty requirements of veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty. This requirement usually doesn’t apply to veterans who were discharged for a disability that occurred in the line of duty or for a hardship. The VA determines the minimum requirements when the veteran enrolls for VA health care benefits. By federal law, 8 priority groups determine eligibility for benefits.
If you are a veteran now working as a federal employee and you have an injury or illness that is preventing you from performing your essential job duties, please contact us. You may qualify for a federal disability retirement. Contact us at 877-226-2723 or fill out this INQUIRY form. We are honored to help you in any way we can!