Office of Rural Health
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS STRUCTURE
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is an agency of the federal government that provides benefits, health care and cemetery services to military Veterans. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a cabinet-level official, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. VA is the federal government’s second largest department after the Department of Defense.
VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of VA medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices and is responsible for administering benefits programs for Veterans, their families and survivors.
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is responsible for initial Veteran registration, eligibility determination and administration of VA's five key lines of non-medical benefits. Major benefits to Servicemembers, Veterans and their families include:
- Home Loan Guarantee
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
- Compensation and Pension
VBA is undergoing a major transformation that is a people-centric, results-oriented and forward-looking integration of solutions that will ensure total lifelong engagement with Servicemembers, Veterans and their families.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is home to one of the United States’ largest integrated health care systems, consisting of 167 medical centers, more than 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. Together these health care facilities and the more than 53,000 independent licensed health care practitioners who work within them provide comprehensive care to more than 9.1 million Veterans each year.
VHA Medical Centers provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy. In addition, most of its medical centers offer additional medical and surgical specialty services including audiology and speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology and vision care. Some medical centers also offer advanced services such as organ transplants and plastic surgery.
In addition, VHA is responsible for biomedical research (under the Office of Research and Development), Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), and Regional Medical Centers.
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) honors Veterans and their families with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our Nation.
- NCA maintains approximately 3.4 million gravesites at 131 national cemeteries, one national Veterans' burial ground, and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico.
- Approximately 473,000 full-casket gravesites; 124,000 in-ground gravesites for cremated remains; and 154,000 columbarium niches are developed in VA's 131 national cemeteries.
- NCA manages approximately 20,500 acres within its cemeteries. Approximately 57 percent are undeveloped and, along with available gravesites in developed acreage, have the potential to provide approximately 6.3 million gravesites.
- Of the 131 national cemeteries, 73 are open to all interments, including Yellowstone National Cemetery, NCA's newest National Veterans Burial Ground serving Veterans in rural Montana.