Veterans Disability Info Blog

VA Proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Increase

The men and women of the U.S. military who have sworn to protect and defend our constitution and risked their lives for our nation are entitled to the best possible care that this country has to offer. This includes their families, who have sacrificed a great deal to support their military spouse/parent with constant moves, deployments, and other unique aspects of the armed forces. The role of the VA is to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and their families, caregivers, and survivors. The VA’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget increase ensures not only the continuity of care the VA provides our veterans but also increased benefits to allow the VA to provide even better service to our veterans. 

As part of the current administration’s $7.3 trillion FY 2025 proposed budget is a $369.3 billion spending plan for the Department of Veteran Affairs. This is nearly a 13% increase from last year’s VA budget, which amounts to $33 billion more than the current year’s spending plan. This represents the largest VA budget to date. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the budget proposal will help deliver “the very best health care and benefits that the country has to offer” for the roughly 18.3 million veterans residing in the United States, its territories, and other locations. Congress will debate the proposed budget in the coming months.

VA Mandatory Spending

About two-thirds of the proposed VA budget falls under mandatory spending, which is the amount required by law to fund disability compensation payments, pensions, and salaries for a total of $235.3 billion. This amount includes $210.6 billion in traditional benefits to veterans, $200 million for major medical facility leases, and $24.5 billion for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) authorized by The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. Last year, the requested budget for VA mandatory funding was $182.3 billion in comparison. 

This increased request is primarily due to the 2024 expansion of the PACT Act. The PACT Act is a federal law that extends VA health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances during the Vietnam, Gulf War, and Post-911 eras. The TEF ensures sufficient funding is available to provide care and benefits to veterans exposed to these environmental hazards. The PACT Act of 2022, which was initially limited in scope and coverage, was greatly expanded this year to include all veterans who meet the basic service and discharge requirements and were exposed to toxins or other hazards while serving in the military at home or overseas. This expansion affects a significant number of additional veterans. A VA disability lawyer at Gang & Associates can further explain your potential eligibility and entitlements under the Act. 

VA Discretionary Spending

The remaining one-third of the proposed VA budget is considered a discretionary request, the portion of the budget that covers all expenses besides mandatory entitlements. This amount, $134 billion, is a $8.9 billion decrease from last year’s discretionary spending and includes the following:

  • $2.8 billion to update and upgrade VA healthcare facilities, including some over 50-year-old VA hospitals. Proposed projects include a new critical care facility in Los Angeles, CA, expansion of a mental health clinic and other facilities in Dallas, TX, and a cemetery expansion in Denver, CO. 
  • $3.2 billion for various programs to end homelessness among veterans and prevent them from becoming homeless. In addition, the overall budget includes $13 billion in mandatory funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to extend housing vouchers to more veterans in need. This would reach an estimated 400,000 very low-income veteran families.  
  • $17.2 billion for mental health care with $13.7 billion for female veterans’ health services, including $1.1 billion for women’s gender-specific care, and $583 million for suicide prevention programs, including continued support of the Veterans Crisis Line (Dial 988, press 1) and additional support for the VA’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy. 
  • $2.9 billion for the VA’s caregiver program, which offers stipends to family members who care for veterans in their homes versus placing them in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 
  • $4 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration to support continued on-time processing of claims and benefit provisions to veterans.
  • $495 million for veterans and their families to receive memorial benefits at the 158 VA-managed cemeteries.
  • $894 million to modernize the VA’s Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) system. This amount is 3% less than last year’s information technology funding. 

The VA plans to eliminate approximately 10,000 full-time jobs, which represents about 2% of the VA workforce. Most of these cuts will come from overstaffed medical care sites due to a significant increase in the VA workforce since 2019. The VA does not anticipate any reduction in services available to veterans in light of these cuts. 

A VA Disability Lawyer at Gang & Associates Can Help You

The attorneys and staff at Gang & Associates support our veterans and the government’s efforts to increase their VA benefits. If you have filed a VA claim for disability or an increase in a VA disability rating and have not received a favorable decision, a VA disability lawyer at Gang & Associates can readily assist you with the next steps. Our goal is to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our VA-accredited attorneys are well-versed in all areas of VA disability law. We focus exclusively on VA benefits law and are recognized across the country for successfully handling the most complex VA appeals. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and appeal options.  

We are Here to Help

If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.