A Closer Look at the New $109 Billion VA Budget



Here are some of the other highlights:

** OEF/OIF vets: $2.1 billion specifically for the health care needs of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, a $463 million increase over last year. That includes new research and treatment programs for mental health issues and traumatic brain injuries.

** Claims processors: $1.7 billion to hire roughly 1,200 additional claims processors to address the backlog of benefits claims and to reduce the time to process new claims. That's up $223 million from 2009.

** Homeless vets: $3.2 billion for healthcare and support services for homeless veterans, including $26 million for a presidential initiative to combat homelessness, $20 million for supportive services for low-income veterans and families, and $21 million to hire additional personnel for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program.

** Electronic records: $3.3 billion to develop the next generation of electronic healthcare record

** Women veterans: $183 million to "meet the unique needs of women veterans" and respond to criticisms of a male-dominated VA system.

** Rural services: $440 million to continue outreach to vets living in remote areas of the country, including a $250 million continuation of the Rural Health Initiative.

** Prosthetic research: $581 million (up $71 million from last year) for research in spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, polytrauma injuries, and sensory loss.

** VA construction: $1.9 billion, including $1.2 billion for new hospitals and clinics and $50 million for the renovation of vacant buildings on VA campuses to be used as housing for homeless veterans.


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