The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) touted the accomplishments of its programs and services in an all-time record ahead of Veterans Day this year. “VA touched the lives of 8.6 million veterans and family members across the nation” in FY2021, a press release from the agency said, providing services like help with housing, mental health treatment, and VA health benefits, among other things. As the agency noted, it had set an “all-time DoD/VA joint records” for veteran satisfaction ratings, education, and career transitions among other areas, and that its medical services in particular now serve more veterans than ever.
Despite these successes, there remain many issues to be addressed at the VA. Just last month, the department came under fire for its mismanagement of the GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans. Reports found veterans had to wait longer for the necessary funds for tuition and other courses while the department struggled to hire enough workers to process claims. Additionally, the department has had long-standing problems with health care wait times, with some cases waiting weeks or even months for their appointments.
To address these issues, VA leaders have called for an infusion of money from Congress to give the department the resources it needs. However, at this point, it remains to be seen how, or even if, the VA will receive the necessary funding to improve its services.