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Statistics about the Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA is the second only to the Defense department in number of employees and manages the largest medical education and health professions training program in the United States.

Civilian Employees

  • 2006
  • VA 235,974
  • Dod 650,401

    VA Employees

  • 216,119 -- Health Administration
  • 12,926 -- Benefits
  • 1,508 -- National Cemetery System
  • 3,308 -- Veterans Canteen Service (provide merchandise, food and vending services in VA medical centers)
  • 442 -- Revolving Supply
  • 8,117 -- Other
  • 242,420 -- Total

    VA Patients

  • Of the 24.3 million veterans currently alive, roughly 11% received disability benefits, which comes to $23.4b
  • About 63 million people (20% of the US population) are eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.

    Rise in Patients

  • 4.1m 2001
  • 5.3m 2005

    Backlog of claims

  • 69,000 in 2000.
  • 400,000 in 2007
  • Time to process claim 177 days
  • Time to process appeal 657 days

    Wounded-to-killed ratio*

  • Global War on Terror (Iraq, Afghanistan and surrounding areas) 16:1
  • Desert Storm/Desert Shield: 1.2
  • Vietnam: 2.6
  • Korea: 2.8
  • World War II: 1.6
  • World War I: 1.8

    *Note: the VA defines non-mortal wounded as those who are “medically evacuated from theatre”.

    Budget, 2005 fiscal year

  • $71.2 billion
  • 31.5b for health care
  • 37.1 for benefits
  • 2.6b other

    SOURCES: VA, "SOLDIERS RETURNING FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN: The Long-term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits," by Linda Bilmes, Kennedy School of Government

    Kathleen Hennrikus/Globe Staff

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