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From Service to Support: The Rise in Disability Benefits for Women Veterans

On March 21, 2024, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revealed that it’s now providing disability compensation benefits to an unprecedented number of female Veterans. Currently, 702,557 women Veterans benefit from these services, marking a 26% increase from five years prior. These women, on average, possess a 68% combined disability rating and receive approximately $26,809 annually in compensation. Notably, 89.2% of female Veterans who apply for these benefits are successful, reflecting the VA’s commitment to this rapidly growing group within its care.

The surge in benefits and services for female Veterans is attributed to the PACT Act, significantly broadening health care and benefits for millions of Veterans exposed to various hazards during service. The VA’s focus on expanding access for female Veterans is part of a wider effort to ensure all Veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve rightfully earned.

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tanya Bradsher, the first female Veteran to hold the position, emphasized that the VA aims to eradicate past barriers to care and benefits for women Veterans. With record-breaking numbers as a starting point, the VA’s goal is clear: no rest until every woman Veteran turns to the VA for support.

Outreach

Efforts to reach out to female Veterans include hosting outreach events nationwide, encouraging them to apply for benefits through VA.gov or by calling 1-800-MYVA411. This outreach coincides with Women’s History Month, during which the VA’s regional offices are actively participating in 139 events focused on women Veterans. These initiatives have led to significant increases in women Veterans availing themselves of education benefits and securing well-paying jobs, with women Veterans receiving a disproportionate share of Post 9/11 education and Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits in 2023.

The last two years have seen substantial expansions in VA healthcare for women, including enhanced breast cancer screenings, reproductive health services, and maternity care coordination. The PACT Act has played a crucial role in increasing enrollments in VA healthcare among women Veterans. Moreover, the VA recently inaugurated its first Women Veterans Experience Action Center, aiding over 340 women Veterans. The VA, alongside the Department of Defense, is also initiating a Women’s Health Research collaborative to further women’s health research and care.

With designated Veteran Coordinators and Women Veterans Program Managers at every VA regional office and medical center, the VA ensures that female Veterans have dedicated support for their unique needs. The Women Veterans Call Center also offers personalized assistance, highlighting the VA’s comprehensive approach to servicing women Veterans.

For more details on VA disability benefits and women’s health care, visit the VA’s benefits website and the women’s health care page at https://www.womenshealth.va.gov/.

Read the original VA press release here.

Like this article? You may also like:

New Multi-Faceted Initiative to Address Needs of Female Veterans with Disabilities

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