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FDLP Resource Guides
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. It is one of fifteen executive departments. This guide provides an overview about the VA, including its administrations, highlighted publications, and featured online information.

Screenshot of "President Jimmy Carter and Administrator of Veterans Affairs Max Cleland unveiling a memorial to Vietnam Veterans during Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in 1978"

Photograph of President Jimmy Carter and Administrator of Veterans Affairs Max Cleland unveiling a memorial to Vietnam Veterans during Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in 1978 (Image source: NAID: 182330)

Quick Facts about the VA

Mission: "To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers and survivors."

Established: 1930 as an independent agency (EO 5398) and in 1989 with a Cabinet status (Public Law 100–527)

Secretary: Denis R. McDonough

Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2022–28 Strategic Plan

Operation: Nearly 400,000 employees

VA Resources and Information

Resource Information
Main Website Visit the official website of the VA.

Find out information for family and service members:

Burials and Memorials Learn more about burial benefits and services.
Careers and Employment See opportunities to manage your career.
Center for Women Veterans Explore programs, services, and benefits for women veterans. 
Disability Read about disability compensation and benefits.
Education and Training Manage your education benefits.
History of VA Conduct research on the history of the department.
Housing Assistance Apply for benefits and services in buying a home or refinancing a loan.
Life Insurance Have financial security for veterans, service members, spouses, and dependent children. Use this patient portal for all your VA health care needs.
National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII) Delve into research collaborations on artificial intelligence (AI) aimed at enhancing services for Veterans.
The PACT Act Learn about expanded benefits on health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances.
Pension See information regarding pension benefits for some veterans and their survivors. 
Records Access your VA records and documents.
VA Department Information Hear the latest news and events.
Veterans Experience Office Learn about the office that leads and supports VA’s customer experience program.

Who is a U.S. Veteran?

This guide highlights two subsections of Title 38 of the United States Code concerning the statutory definition of "veteran."

  • Per 38 U.S.C. §101(2),  
    • "The term 'veteran' means a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable." 
  • Per 38 U.S.C. §101(10),
    • "The term 'Armed Forces' means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof."

Veterans Crisis Line

Screenshot of "Veterans Crisis Line Dial 988 then press 1"

Three options for veterans and loved ones to receive 24/7 confidential crisis support:

Dial 988 and then press 1  Text 838255 Chat online

(Image source: Veterans Crisis Line)