How Will the VA Spend the $17 Billion They’ve Just Received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021?
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs has received over $17 billion in funding. Here’s how it will be spent.
$10 billion of the funding will be spent directly on health-care and homeless programs. Another $4 billion will go to the Community Care or MISSION program which provides care from civilian providers. While the VA has yet to announce specifics for each of these, it is clear that the vast majority of funding is indeed going to providing services directly to veterans.
An additional $1 billion of the emergency funding is going to cover the medical bills of veterans. More specifically, veterans will be able to write off copayments for medical care provided by the VA from April 2020 to September 2021.
The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance program, which offers Veterans up to 12 months of cash payments if they enroll in job training programs for high demand jobs, will also see a benefit from the new funding. A total of $386 million has been designated for the program.
The remaining funding will be divided among several programs, including:
- $100 million to modernize VA’s health-care supply chain
- $750 million in grants to state veterans’ homes and nursing homes
- $272 million to speed up compensation claims processing and appeals
- $80 million to pay for special medical leave for VA employees affected by COVID-19
- $10 million to the VA’s Inspector General program to keep tabs on all that money
The funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will be added to the $19.5 billion that the VA was allotted in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
With new funding for its programs, VA coverage is subject to change. You can always keep on top of the changes by visiting the VA website – https://www.va.gov/