GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
The Department of Veterans Affairs operates one of the largest health care systems in the country. It owned 5,625 buildings and leased 1,690 more in FY 2020 to help provide this care. VA has a growing maintenance backlog and estimated that it needs $22.6 billion to correct facility deficiencies.
Veterans who have been arrested and jailed are at an increased risk of homelessness and mental health conditions. The VA created the Veterans Justice Outreach program, which served over 30,000 veterans in FY 2020, to address these issues.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers education benefits, like tuition coverage, to veterans through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Veteran Readiness & Employment program, which helps veterans with disabilities re-enter the workforce, can also provide education benefits.
During the pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued guidance on limiting entry to its community living centers, testing residents and staff for COVID-19, and training staff for a surge in cases.
Department of Veterans Affairs police officers are responsible for securing and protecting the VA's nearly 170 medical centers nationwide.
We testified on VA's progress in addressing our facility security recommendations from prior reports.
The Department of Veterans Affairs processed over a million claims for disability compensation and provided about $88.5 billion in FY 2020 to injured veterans. Veterans who appealed claim decisions have experienced long waits for decisions.
The Veterans Benefits Administration has over 9,000 claims processors for disability compensation. In 2019, VBA processed over 1.4 million claims and provided $88 million in benefits to veterans with disabilities.
We testified about our work on the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to modernize its health information and financial IT systems, address cybersecurity, and more.
For example, although potential hurdles remain, VA made progress modernizing electronic health records.