The FY 2015 Independent Budget (IB) was released on February 2, 2014, in advance of the Administrations FY 2015 projected budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This year marks the 28th year that the document has been co-authored by the American Veterans (AMVETS), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW). The IB is published annually as a comprehensive budget and policy document to inform VA leadership and policy makers of veterans’ health care and benefits needs.
For FY 2015, the IB recommends that Congress provide a total of $72.9 billion for veterans’ VA health care and benefits services. In addition to the VA budget recommendation, the document is comprised of five sections that address policy issues involving VA services—Benefits, Medical Care, Construction, Employment and Education, and the National Cemetery Administration.
Issues of particular concern to the IB co-authors this year include the underfunding of VA construction accounts, continued reduction of the benefits claims backlog, and expanding advanced appropriations to all VA discretionary and mandatory appropriations accounts. After the Administration proposes a FY 2015 budget, the IB co-authors will testify before Congress to address these issues.
The IB is a highly regarded document that is utilized by members of Congress and federal leaders to determine ways to better serve veterans. More than 50 organizations are listed as endorsers of this year’s IB in support of improving VA services for veterans.
The Independent Budget is available online at www.independentbudget.org.
Learn more about Paralyzed Veterans of America on Capitol Hill