Shinseki Wants A Budget For The VA

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | October 9, 2013

Veterans will still receive medical and hospital care no matter how long the federal government is shut down, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told lawmakers, but funding for benefits and other programs may run out in November, threatening veterans’ financial health.  

Since the Veterans Health Administration is forward funded, “well over 70 percent” of the VA is able to continue providing services, Shinseki said to the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

“But on 1 November I will not be able to pay all these beneficiaries who are expecting those checks. I need an authorization or an appropriation,” Shinseki explained, describing virtually all non-healthcare programs as only funded through the end of the month, including disability benefits for 3.8 million veterans, pension benefits for 315,000 senior veterans, disability payments for 20,000 survivors, and tuition and stipend payments for 500,000.