Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation
This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP),which is a new, temporary program (the VCP is set to expire in August 2017 or whenever funds in the Veterans Choice Fund are exhausted). The VCP enables eligible veterans to receive medical care in the community.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations
This report provides and overview of department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and range of benefits and services to veterans. The report discusses VA budget and the President's budget request for FY2017 and congressional action
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of Veterans Affairs (VA) appropriations; for a discussion on military construction appropriations. The VA provides a range of benefits and services to veterans and eligible dependents who meet certain criteria as authorized by law.
Who Is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans' benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of benefits to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and certain members of their families. Among these benefits are various types of financial assistance, including monthly cash payments to disabled veterans, health care, education, and housing.
Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about health care provided to veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information. Where applicable, it provides the legislative background pertaining to the question.
Health Care for Dependents and Survivors of Veterans
This report discusses the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), which is primarily a health insurance program where certain eligible dependents and survivors of veterans receive care from private sector health care providers. The report provides information regarding eligibility requirements, available benefits, and payment structures.
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Expedited Removal Authority for VA Senior Executives (38 U.S.C. § 713): Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
GI Bills Enacted Prior to 2008 and Related Veterans' Educational Assistance Programs: A Primer
This report describes the GI Bills enacted prior to 2008. Although participation in the programs has ended or is declining, the programs' evolution and provisions inform current policy. Included is a description of the eligibility requirements, eligible programs of education, benefit availability, and benefits. The report also provides some summary statistics, comparisons between the programs, and brief discussions of related programs.
The Veterans Health Administration and Medical Education: A Fact Sheet
This report supplies facts about the Veterans Health Administration and its medical education. It describes the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its involvement in the medical training of health care professionals. The report also gives details on the VA's academic affiliations, its funding of physician training, and its ongoing graduate medical education (GME) expansion. Figure 1 on page 3 shows the amount the VA spent on education and training from FY2010 to FY2015.
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.
Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States: Program Overview
This report provides an overview of the federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) grant program and the associated state programs.
Veterans and Homelessness
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Homeless veterans initially came to the country’s attention in the 1970s and 1980s, when homelessness generally was becoming a more prevalent and noticeable phenomenon. This report defines the term “homeless veteran,” discusses attempts to estimate the number of veterans who are homeless, and presents the results of studies regarding the demographic characteristics of homeless veterans as well as those served in VA homeless programs. The second section of this report summarizes the available research regarding the overrepresentation of both male and female veterans, who have been found to be present in greater percentages in the homeless population than their percentages in the general population. The third section of this report discusses programs to fund services and transitional housing specifically for homeless veterans.
TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report addresses key questions concerning the impact of enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the TRICARE and VA health care programs. To provide some context to this discussion, the report begins with a brief overview of the two health systems and eligibility for care under each system.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2016 Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses budget issues for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides a range of benefits and services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules.
Expedited Removal Authority for VA Senior Executives (38 U.S.C. § 713): Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2016 Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses budget issues for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides a range of benefits and services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules.
Veterans and Homelessness
This report discusses the various aspects of the issue of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2016 Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses budget issues for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides a range of benefits and services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules.
Expedited Removal Authority for VA Senior Executives (38 U.S.C. § 713): Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Section 707 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, P.L. 113-146, enacted on August 7, 2014, created this authority by adding Section 713 to Title 38 of the United States Code. It authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to remove an individual in a senior executive position from federal service or transfer him or her to a position in the General Schedule if the Secretary determines that the individual's performance or misconduct warrants removal.
VA Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 1994), as Reported to the House
This report describes the VA Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 1994) as reported to the House by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs on July 23 2015 and compares it to current law where appropriate.
SBA Veterans Assistance Programs: An Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report opens with an examination of the current economic circumstances of veteran-owned businesses drawn from the Bureau of the Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners, which was administered in 2008 and 2009, and released on May 17, 2011. It also provides a brief overview of veteran employment experiences, describes the employment assistance programs offered by several federal agencies to assist veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian labor force, and examines related Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives such as business development programs, efforts to assist veterans' access to capital, and veteran contracting programs.
Who Is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for Veterans' Administration (VA) benefits, including the eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report discusses selected veteran pension programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This report also discusses the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels of these programs and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3230; P.L. 113-146)
This report begins with a brief overview of the legislative history that lead up to the enactment of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-146), and discusses subsequent amendments to the act. The Act was largely in response to issues pertaining to delays in patient care and patient wait time manipulation at various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system facilities.
SBA Veterans Assistance Programs: An Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report opens with an examination of the current economic circumstances of veteran-owned businesses drawn from the Bureau of the Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners, which was administered in 2008 and 2009, and released on May 17, 2011. It also provides a brief overview of veteran employment experiences, describes the employment assistance programs offered by several federal agencies to assist veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian labor force, and examines related Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives such as business development programs, efforts to assist veterans' access to capital, and veteran contracting programs.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Who is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans' benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.
FY2016 NDAA: A Comparison of House and Senate Provisions for Military Retirement Reform
This report discusses the military retirement system, which is a funded, noncontributory, defined benefit system that provides a monthly annuity to servicemembers after 20 years of qualifying service.
U.S. Periods of War
This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Veterans and Homelessness
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. This report discusses the various aspects of this issue.
Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about health care provided to veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information. Where applicable, it provides the legislative background pertaining to the question.
Veterans Health Care: Project HERO Implementation
This report first provides a brief overview of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, followed by a overview of Project HERO (Healthcare Effectiveness through Resource Optimization). Second, it discusses the current fee basis care process, as well as the implementation of Project HERO. The report concludes with a discussion of observations on the implementation of Project HERO based on Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Humana Veterans Healthcare Services (HVHS) perspectives.
Veterans Medical Care: FY2010 Appropriations
This report focuses on funding for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). 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. Eligibility for VA health care is based primarily on previous military service, disability, and income.
Veterans Health Administration: Community- Based Outpatient Clinics
This report provides an overview of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rationale in establishing Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), describes how they are managed and administered, discusses medical services provided at CBOCs, and summarizes what is known about the quality and cost of providing care in CBOCs compared to primary care clinics at VA Medical Centers. Lastly, it describes the process for developing a new CBOC.
Veterans Affairs: The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims--Judicial Review of VA Decision Making
This report discusses legislation enacted by the 111th Congress to address funding, operations, and benefit appeal procedures within the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC).
Health Care for Veterans: Traumatic Brain Injury
This report focuses on current efforts of the VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to understand, identify, and treat Traumatic brain injury (TBI) among veterans.
Veterans' Benefits: The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
This report describes Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Service (VR&E) program services available to veterans with service-connected disabilities and to their families. It provides information about eligibility and entitlement, the application process, and resources available through other agencies. A brief history of the program is also provided.
Veterans' Benefits: The Impact of Military Discharges on Basic Eligibility
This report discusses the discharge or separation requirement for veteran status or, more specifically, how the VA assesses character of service to determine whether a former servicemember's separation from the military can be considered other than dishonorable.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels.
Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress
This report addresses the two primary components of the concurrent receipt program: Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). It reviews the possible legislative expansion of the program to additional populations and provide several potential options for Congress to consider.
Unemployment Compensation (Insurance) and Military Service
This report discusses Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX), which provides income support while former active duty military personnel or reservists released from active duty search for work. The report addresses funding for this service, who is entitled to UCX benefits, and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) and the Extended Benefits (EB) payments, which a servicemember receives when regular unemployment benefits are exhausted.
Veterans Benefits: Federal Employment Assistance
This report provides a brief overview of federal employment and training programs and policies specifically targeted to help veterans seeking employment in the civilian economy. Transition assistance programs are operated by the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Labor (DOL) to assist servicemembers as they prepare to leave the military.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Health Reform and the 111th Congress
This report presents basic background information on health insurance that may be useful to legislators considering health insurance reforms. It describes health insurance reform approaches and provides brief descriptions of health insurance reform bills introduced in the 111th Congress.
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.