Last month, the Department of Veterans Affairs completed an overview of its performance for fiscal year 2010. In addition to covering how the VA did handling the VA loan program, homelessness and health care, the report makes note of upcoming challenges in the those same areas.
Overall, fiscal year 2010 went well for the VA. In FY10, the VA guaranteed 314,000 loans that either helped a veteran purchase a home or lower an interest rate. The value of loans guaranteed by the VA since 1944 now exceeds $1 trillion.
With tens of thousands of returning service members, disability and medical claims became a major focus for the department in the last few years. The department processed more than 1 million claims during FY10 to cut into the backlog. Health care appointments were a top priority, too. Almost all primary health care appointments (99 percent) were completed within 30 days of patients’ preferred date.
Furthermore, the VA applied its voucher program to provide permanent housing to 16,000 veterans who were homeless. The Washington National Crossing Cemetery increased burial benefits. This new cemetery will serve about 580,000 veterans in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Recently, the VA published a new strategic plan that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki intends to implement to boost access to veteran benefits, quality of VA programs and efficiency.
“VA has made remarkable progress on Departmental priorities during FY 2010,” Shinseki wrote in a letter to President Obama and other leaders on Capitol Hill. “We have identified and are implementing fundamental changes to transform VA into a 21st century organization that is people-centric, results-driven, and forward-looking.”
Photo thanks to Virginia Guard Public Affairs under creative common license on Flickr.