Study Document

Veteran Benefits Administration Research Paper

Pages:8 (2549 words)



Topic:Veterans Affairs

Document Type:Research Paper



The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its purpose is to provide financial aid as well as other kinds of assistance to veterans in need, to their families or to their survivors as the case may be. Some of the various kinds of assistance include compensation and pension pay, rehabilitation assistance, support with finding employment, assistance with furthering educational opportunities, obtaining a home loan, and obtaining life insurance. The VBA was set up to facilitate the VA in its mission to care for soldiers and the families of soldiers—to do right by those who had put their lives on the line and in some cases sacrificed them for the good of the country. This paper will describe the strategic goals of the VBA and the social needs it addresses, evaluate the external support the organization relies upon; assess the structure, culture and capabilities of the VBA; and describe its strategic plan and mission statement. Then it will identify the areas where leadership deficiencies exist and where there is potential for improvement. Finally, it will provide a strategic plan to address those deficiencies and introduce effective practices.

Strategic Goals of the Organization and Social Needs It Addresses

The strategic goals of the VBA are that veterans will come to the organization for financial assistance and support to improve their lives. The goals can best be seen in the VBA’s vision statement, which shows that the organization strives to ensure “that the Veterans whom we serve will feel that our Nation has kept its commitment to them; employees will feel that they are both recognized for their contribution and are part of something larger than themselves; and taxpayers will feel that we’ve met the responsibilities they’ve entrusted to us. Courage, honesty, trust, respect, open communication, and accountability will be reflected in our day-to-day behavior” (VBA, 2019).

Thus, the social needs the VBA addresses are: 1) the need to show veterans that their service has not been in vain or gone unnoticed—each soldier’s commitment is valued and in exchange the U.S. government ensures that each solder is taken care of upon returning to civilian life; 2) it provides compensation, insurance and other benefits to veterans; 3) it supports them in pursuing educational opportunities; 4) assists them in finding employment, and 5) helps them in getting a loan to buy a house. Work, family, education, and financial stability are the areas of social need that the VBA specializes in for veterans.

First, the VBA oversees disability compensation that is paid to veterans who have been disabled by an injury or disease suffered or made worse over the course of the soldier’s military service.

Second, the VBA oversees and dispenses pensions owed to to wartime veterans and their survivors. To that end, it ensures that total dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of veterans who are injured or die as a result of service is paid out; this includes disability payments, burial benefits, as well as a fiduciary program for survivors.

Third, the VBA provides life insurance programs so that veterans and their families can have peace of mind about their financial security.

Fourth, the VBA provides the tools for acquiring benefits services—such as outreach programs, partnerships, web communications, and training opportunities. This includes rehabilitation opportunities, independent living services, and vocational counseling services.

Fifth, the VBA oversees home loans for veterans so that they can obtain a house at an affordable rate with no money down.

External Support the Organization Relies On

The VA is funded by the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MILCON-VA) appropriations bill (Panangala, 2018). The 2018 budget request was $182 billion (Panangala, 2018). In short, external support that the VBA relies upon comes directly from taxpayers in terms of financial assistance. However, organizational assistance comes from other places, too.

For example, the VBA also relies upon the assistance and partnerships of various organizations and departments within the federal government, such as the Small Business Administration, Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Office of Personnel. It also collaborates with third party organizations and institutions, hospitals, universities and businesses to help veterans transition successfully from the military to civilian life. Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is one such example. TAP, like the National Association of American Veterans, offers guidance, a variety workshops and seminars, training and many other useful tools and programs that veterans can utilize to better help them find work after transitioning to civilian life. These organizations also work with businesses so that they can link veterans with employers

Structure, Culture, and Capabilities

Veterans’ benefits and services are managed and distributed by VA Regional Offices throughout the United States. The structure of the VBA is hierarchical, with the Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations and the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations overseeing the Operations Center, the…

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…Having a job is one of the foundations of having a healthy life—it is fundamental and essential and it needs to be given more of a place of importance in the VBA’s mission. Programs like The Returning Heroes Tax Credit are helpful because they remind organizations that veterans are qualified leaders who can manage effectively. But the VBA also has to make veterans and soldiers who are about to be veterans more aware of the support, training and programs that are available to them. The VBA does not do enough in the way of messaging to soldiers and veterans so that these latter even know that support is available. As Hazle et al. (2012) put it, it is “important to ensure employees are aware of the benefits of hiring veterans and that veterans are aware of ways to translate their military skills into a civilian context” (p. 232). Both need to be educated on this matter and the VBA must step up and supply that education.

All of these are appropriate measures because they address the underlying foundational issues that are creating deficiencies in the VBA and preventing the agency from reaching its maximum potential. Getting rid of the bloat would facilitate better and more efficient interactions; raising awareness about and collaborating with more local organizations would help to get veterans involved at the community level with groups that exist to help them. And getting more training opportunities in front of soldiers and veterans and promoting incentive programs like The Returning Heroes Tax Credit can help to get more businesses involved in looking for veteran workers.

The probable outcomes for these measures would be that more veterans find transitioning to civilian life to go more smoothly; wait times and delays at the VBA as veterans apply for aid are eliminated; and more job opportunities open up for veterans. It would ensure that veterans have quicker access to counseling if needed and that payments are processed more efficiently, as channels are centralized.


The VBA has a good mission statement and facilitates the goals of the VA; however, it is part of an over-bloated, bureaucratic agency with a notoriously bad reputation for being slow, negligent and over-burdened with claims, applications, and petitions for service. The VBA needs to centralize operations more effectively so that it can reduce unnecessary overlap, cut down on silos and improve communication. It needs to collaborate more with state and local agencies so that veterans…

Sample Source(s) Used


Cohen, S. (2019). Disband the Veterans Administration. Retrieved from

Faurer, J., Rogers-Brodersen, A., & Bailie, P. (2014). Managing the re-employment of military veterans through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Journal of Business & Economics Research (Online), 12(1), 55.

Hazle, M., Wilcox, S. L., & Hassan, A. M. (2012). Helping veterans and their families fight on!. Advances in Social Work, 13(1), 229-242.

Panangala, S. (2018). Department of Veterans Affairs FY2018 Appropriations. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2014). Retrieved from

VBA. (2019). Retrieved from

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