[Excerpt] The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a range of benefits and services to veterans and eligible dependents who meet certain criteria as authorized by law. These benefits include medical care, disability compensation and pensions, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment services, assistance to homeless veterans, home loan guarantees, administration of life insurance as well as traumatic injury protection insurance for servicemembers, and death benefits that cover burial expenses.
The VA carries out its programs nationwide through three administrations and the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is responsible for, among other things, providing compensation, pensions, education assistance, and vocational rehabilitation and employment services. The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is responsible for maintaining national veterans’ cemeteries; providing grants to states for establishing, expanding, or improving state veterans’ cemeteries; and providing headstones and markers for the graves of eligible persons, among other things. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is responsible for health care services and medical and prosthetic research programs. The VHA is primarily a direct service provider of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services to veterans through the nation’s largest integrated health care system. Inpatient and outpatient care are also provided in the private sector to eligible dependents of veterans under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).