OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Veterans' Benefits and Assistance

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Veterans' Benefits and Assistance supports the Florida Department of Veterans' Affair's mission of veterans' advocacy. The division assists Florida veterans with obtaining financial and health benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA).

How is the division organized and implemented?

The division accomplishes its purpose through the activities of three bureaus.
  • Bureau of Field Services provides benefits assistance services to inpatients and outpatients in 44 of the USDVA medical facilities and the state veterans' nursing homes. Bureau staff help veterans apply for financial assistance, enroll in health care, and obtain equipment, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids. Staff also perform outreach and assist in staffing the state's Disaster Recovery Centers when established by the Division of Emergency Management during emergency situations.
  • Bureau of State Approving Agency for Veterans' Education and Training oversees participation of institutions of higher learning and non-college degree schools in USDVA Education Benefits programs. The bureau reviews, evaluates, and approves veterans' education programs at these institutions.
  • Bureau of Veterans' Claims Services provides counseling services and assistance to veterans, their dependents, and survivors with the preparation, submission, and prosecution of claims and appeals for state and federal benefits, as well as applications to correct military records. Bureau staff work directly with USDVA personnel to expedite claims and advocate on behalf of the client.

How can veterans find information on available benefits?

The 2019 edition of the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors and 2020 edition of the Florida Veterans' Benefits Guide provide the latest information on veterans' benefits. In addition, the USDVA maintains current copies of the forms commonly required for initiating claims.

What is the claim volume for services?

For Fiscal Year 2018-19, the department reported processing 42,580 claims, which represents an increase from the 38,910 claims processed in Fiscal Year 2017-18 and exceeds the division's goal of processing 22,687 claims.

How many veterans were served, and how many services were provided?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, total veterans served increased from 107,381 to 130,749 and exceeded the department's goal of serving 99,106 veterans. Services provided decreased from 684,451 to 627,467, but exceeded the department's goal of providing 493,581 services.

What is the value of cost avoidance due to services?

For Fiscal Year 2018-2019 the value of cost avoidance because of issue resolutions was $96,000,011, an increase from the previous years total of $81,737,100 and well in excess of the department standard of $22,106,824.

The value of cost avoidance because of retroactive compensation in Financial Year 2018-2019 was $133,741,292, an increase from the previous year's total of $126,958,225, and above the department standard of $91,998,996.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Salary Rate/ Position General Revenue Trust Funds
SALARY RATE
POSITIONS
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
EXPENSES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
OPERATING CAPITAL OUTLAY
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
CONTRACTED SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
GRANTS AND AIDS - CONTRACTED SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
RISK MANAGEMENT INSURANCE
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
TRANSFER TO DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES - HUMAN RESOURCES SERVICES PURCHASED PER STATEWIDE CONTRACT
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND
GRANTS AND AIDS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND NONSTATE ENTITIES - FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
TOTAL
6,300,156
3,287,692

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Annual Reports, Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs.
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Board of Veterans' Appeals
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, GI Bill
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Sections 20.37, 292.05, 295.124 and 292.11, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Alene Tarter, Director, Veterans' Benefits and Assistance, 727-319-7440

Website