Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Veterans' Affairs

For assistance, call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://floridavets.org/

What is the purpose of the department?

The mission of the Department of Veterans' Affairs is to advocate with purpose and passion for Florida veterans and link them to superior services, benefits, and support. The agency assists Florida veterans, their families and survivors to improve their health and economic well-being through quality benefit information, advocacy, education, and long-term health care.

 

 

How is the department organized?

The department's main administrative office is located in Largo, with a capitol office in Tallahassee, and a division in Bay Pines. The department provides services through two organizational units: the Division of Benefits and Assistance and the State Veterans' Homes Program.

The Division of Veterans' Benefits and Assistance assists Florida veterans and their dependents in obtaining financial benefits and health care treatments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The State Veterans' Homes Program operates six veterans' nursing homes and one veterans' assisted living facility that provides both long-term skilled care services and assisted living services to eligible Florida veterans. Two additional veterans' nursing homes, one under construction and another under renovation, are expected to open to residents in 2022.

What services does the department provide?

The department assists Florida veterans, their families and survivors in improving their health and economic well-being through quality benefit information, advocacy, education, and long-term health care. The department assists veterans in many components such as receiving medical treatment, prescriptions, prosthetic devices, benefit checks, school program approval, veterans' preference investigations and determinations, voter registration and disseminating veteran data to the public. The department also employs Veterans' Claims Examiners who work with veterans to receive benefits. Additionally, the department provides counseling and assistance of claims and appeals for state and federal benefits, as well as, applications to correct military records. Lastly, the department provides long-term skilled nursing care and assisted living services.

What is the veteran population in Florida?

As of Federal Fiscal Year 2020, Florida is home to 1.5 million veterans, the third largest veteran population in the nation. Among those veterans are 31,898 World War II veterans, 105,660 Korean War-era veterans, 498,641 Vietnam-era veterans, 353,881 peacetime veterans, 203,970 Gulf War-era veterans, and 219,612 post-9/11 veterans.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2022-23
Fund Dollars Positions
VETERANS' AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: SERVICES TO VETERANS' PROGRAM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
5,602,933
29.50
VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES
2,400,000
.00
VETERANS' BENEFITS AND ASSISTANCE
17,864,942
115.00
VETERANS' HOMES
152,382,529
1,338.00
TOTAL
178,250,404
1,482.50

Updates

Veteran Suicide Prevention Training Pilot Program. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-39Laws of Florida, which authorizes the department to establish the Veteran Suicide Prevention Training Pilot Program. The program's aim is to provide veteran suicide prevention training and certification to agency claims examiners and county and city veteran service officers. The department will partner with an experienced organization to develop an evidence-based curriculum for training. The training topics will include identification of risk factors for suicide risk and provide emergency crisis referrals for veterans experiencing emotional or psychological distress. The department will establish and oversee the process for certifying program participants who successfully complete the training. Additionally, the department will adopt rules necessary to implement the pilot program. The department will submit an annual report on updates and recommendations for change to increase effectiveness to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Recommendation for continuation of the program will be assessed in 2026. Funds of $500,000 will be appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the department as nonrecurring funds.

Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-187, Laws of Florida, which provides educational opportunities to disabled veterans enrolled in an approved educational program, such as a state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district, or a charter technical career center that does not qualify for 100% eligibility tier under federal law and is eligible to receive a waiver for tuition and fees.

 

 

 

 

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, Board of Veterans' Appeals
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 292, 295, and 296, and s. 20.37, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Veterans Support Line: 1-800-273-8255

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