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    VA Set Records for Number of Appointments, Claims Processing, Compensation over the Past Year

    VA Set Records for Number of Appointments, Claims Processing, Compensation over the Past Year

    The Department of Veterans Affairs set records in multiple areas this past fiscal year — a pace officials say they hope to continue in 2024 with targeted hiring for high-demand jobs, it announced Monday.

    The Veterans Health Administration, the VA's medical services arm, oversaw 116 million medical appointments in fiscal 2023, a 2.7% increase from the record set in fiscal 2022. And the Veterans Benefits Administration, which handles VA disability compensation and benefits, paid out $150 billion in compensation and benefits to 1.5 million veterans and survivors, a 39% increase, and processed nearly 2 million disability claims, up nearly 16%.

    “We at VA are proud of the care and benefits we provided these heroes during 2023, but we're not stopping here. We won't rest until every veteran gets the care and benefits they deserve,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement Monday.

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    Officials said that the hiring effort they embarked on in fiscal 2023 was largely responsible for the department's ability to provide expanded services. The VHA hired more than 61,000 employees, surpassing its goal of 52,000 by nearly 10,000 and increasing its workforce to more than 400,000 for the first time ever.

    Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal said the VHA plans to continue hiring for fiscal 2024, but the total…

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