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Budget Increases Proposed for VA

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Veterans' Issues |

The White House has announced the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024.  In this proposed budget are several items that are important to Veterans.  First, the budget proposes an increase to the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund.  This is part of the PACT Act, which expands health care and benefits for toxic-exposed Veterans (I THINK by this time most Veterans have heard about the PACT ACT -if you haven’t, please give me a call!  😊)  The PACT Act expanded VA health care and benefits to millions of Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxins. The budget requests $20.3 billion in 2024, which is $15.3 billion above 2023.  This money will be used for health care, research and benefits associated with exposure to environmental hazards for Veterans and their survivors.

The 2024 Budget also invests in preventing Veteran suicide.  Secretary McDonough says that suicide prevention is VA’s top clinical priority.  The budget requests $16.6 billion in 2024 for mental health efforts, including suicide prevention.  As a part of that, the budget includes $559 million for Veteran suicide prevention outreach programs and an estimated $2.5 billion in suicide-specific medical treatment.

The 2024 Budget will bolster efforts to end Veteran homelessness: Veteran homelessness has decreased by 11% since 2020 and VA permanently housed more than 40,000 homeless Veterans in 2022.  The budget invests $3.1 billion in providing homeless Veterans — and Veterans at-risk of homelessness — with permanent housing, access to health care and other supportive services.

Another Veteran initiative in the proposed 2024 Budget will support women Veterans’ health care.  The number of women Veterans using VA services tripling over the last 20 years — growing from 160,000 in 2002 to more than 627,000 today.  The proposed budget invests $257 million for women’s health and childcare programs to increase access to infertility counseling and assisted reproductive technology, eliminate copayments for contraceptive coverage, and support full-time women veteran program managers at all 172 VA medical centers.

The final Veteran initiative in the budget is requested to invest in Veteran medical facilities.  The median VA’s hospital was built nearly 60 years ago – compared to just 13 years ago in the private sectorThe budget requests an investment of $4.1 billion (discretionary and mandatory) for construction to begin restoring VA’s aging infrastructure and providing Veterans with state-of-the-art health care facilities, as well as a $5 billion investment in medical care funding (discretionary) for non-recurring maintenance to improve medical facility infrastructure.

Gardberg and Kemmerly is open for calls and online assistance and will continue to help our Veterans in any way possible, including staying up to date on any pending legislation and budgetary measures.  If you have a claim for disability and need assistance, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve.  If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.



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