RD390 - Virginia Department of Veterans Services Commissioner’s Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report - December 1, 2012

Executive Summary:
I am proud to report again on the accomplishments of the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) as we work towards achieving the goal, set by the Governor and General Assembly, of making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to 823,000 veterans, and the more than 700 full and part-time employees of the Department of Veterans Services are dedicated themselves to serving those who served us.

DVS provides a broad range of services – from assisting veterans and their families with the benefits claims process, helping wounded warriors, and supporting educational benefits for veterans, to caring for injured, ill, and elderly veterans and meeting their final needs through our cemetery services. In FY12, the Department of Veterans Services:

• Filed 27,279 disability compensation claims. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) adjudicated 15,967 claims submitted by DVS, and approved 12,362, or approximately 77 percent. Virginia veterans received nearly $60 million in retroactive claim awards during FY12.

• Served 5,283 veterans and their families through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.

• Certified that more than 1,000 educational programs met G.I. Bill requirements. Virginia veterans received more than $562M G.I. Bill benefits in FFY11.

• Provided 134,143 patient days of care at the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center in Richmond and the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke.

• Performed 1,222 burials at Virginia’s three state veterans cemeteries.

• Partnered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to create the Virginia Veterans ID Card. As of November 1, 2012, more than 24,000 cards had been issued.

Even with all we’ve accomplished in the past year, we will not stop to rest on our laurels in Fiscal Year 2013. In FY13 we will break ground on the 40-bed addition to the Sitter & Barfoot Care Center, welcome the Virginia War Memorial to the DVS family, launch new programs to assist homeless veterans, and deploy the automatic claims processing system. With the continued support of Governor McDonnell and his team, of the General Assembly, and of our key partners, we will continue to strive towards making Virginia the nation’s most veteran friendly state.

Paul E. Galanti