The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it delivered more care and more benefits to more veterans than ever before in fiscal year 2023.
All-time record accomplishments for veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors in fiscal year 2023 include:
· Providing more health care to veterans: VA delivered more than 116 million health care appointments to veterans, surpassing the previous all-time record by more than 3 million appointments.
· Delivering more earned benefits to veterans and survivors: VA delivered $163 billion in earned benefits, including $150 billion in compensation and pension benefits, to 1,535,685 veterans and survivors – all of which are all-time records. VA also processed 1,981,854 veteran and survivor claims, surpassing the previous all-time record by 15.9%.
· Encouraging more veterans to apply for earned benefits: Thanks to the largest outreach campaign in VA history, veterans submitted 2,433,729 claims applications – an all-time record and 39% more than in 2022. Veterans also submitted 2,299,815 intents-to-file – an all-time record and 62% more than in 2022.
· Supporting more veteran caregivers: VA provided services, resources, and assistance to a record 74,270 veteran family caregivers – supporting them while they take care of the veterans they love.
· Supporting more veterans in crisis: The Veterans Crisis Line received 1,002,971 million calls, texts, and chat – surpassing the previous all-time record by 15.1%. VA also provided no-cost emergency health care to 33,542 veterans in acute suicidal crises through a new program launched in January.
· Providing more dental care to veterans: VA dental clinics provided 5.5 million procedures to more than 560,000 patients, surpassing the previous all-time record by 4.8%.
· Providing more life insurance coverage for veterans: VA provided an all-time record $1.5 trillion in life insurance coverage to 5.6 million policyholders. This includes new coverage awarded through VA life, a new program that extended life insurance access to millions of veterans.
· Screening more veterans for toxic exposures: VA screened an all-time record 4,599,009 veterans for toxic exposures, a critical step to catching and treating potentially life-threatening health conditions as early as possible.
· Providing more resting places to veterans: A record 5.4 million people — including 4.1 million veterans — are now buried in VA national cemeteries.
· Commemorating more veterans on the Veterans Legacy Memorial: Nearly 10 million of the nation’s heroes now have individual commemorative pages in the Veterans Legacy Memorial – the nation’s first digital platform dedicated to the memory of veterans and servicemembers. This is an all-time record, reflecting an increase of more than 5 million veterans over the past year alone.
· Processing more veteran appeals: The Board of Veterans’ Appeals processed 103,245 veteran appeals, an all-time record and 8.3% increase over 2022.
Many of these accomplishments for veterans have been made possible by the PACT Act – the largest expansion of VA health care and benefits in generations — which President Biden signed into law in August 2022. For more information on how the PACT Act is helping veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors, visit the PACT Act dashboard.
Investments in VA’s workforce are another key reason why VA has been able to deliver care and benefits to veterans at record rates. In fiscal year 2023, VA’s Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration both grew at the fastest rates in 15 years. VHA now has more than 400,000 employees for the first time in history, and VBA now has more than 32,000 employees for the first time in history. VA’s retention efforts have also led to a 20% decrease in turnover rate among VHA employees from 2022 to 2023. For more information on VA’s hiring efforts, visit VA’s workforce dashboard.
These accomplishments build on many other efforts to expand and improve care and benefits for veterans over the past year. For example, VA has expanded maternity care, breast cancer screenings, and reproductive care for veterans; housed more than 40,000 formerly homeless veterans in 2022 and exceeded the pace to do so again in 2023; expanded caregiver support to veterans of all eras; updated its 1959 mission statement to be inclusive of all those who have served in our nation’s military; waived copayments for eligible Native American and Alaska Native Veterans; consistently outperformed non-VA hospitals in health care ratings and veteran outcomes; led all organizations, public or private, in the prestigious American Customer Satisfaction Index; and taken many other actions to expand access to care and benefits to veterans.