VA Benefits Spending By State ► Data for 2013
If you're a veteran and rely on benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where you live may have an effect on whether you receive the benefits you've earned. The VA has a hard time explaining why there are such huge disparities on Vet benefits spending across the nation. And when the agency's data are published, a VA official says, they can count on angry calls from the congressional offices of whichever state ranks last in terms of dollars per veteran. Below is a breakdown by state of what was spent in 2013. Refer to http://www.va.gov/vetdata/Expenditures.asp for previous years back to 1999 along with how it was spent each year, VA says the data don't show the full picture because there are too many unknowns — only 9 million vets use the VA out of 22 million total veterans. They move around, sometimes disappearing off the VA's radar for decades, and then they walk back in the door. The numbers are also driven by where vets choose to retire, and by each state's efforts to educate veterans about the benefits and services available.
State Spending Per Vet Vets as a Share of the Population
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spending figures include only categories that go directly to veterans (such as medical, compensation or education benefits) and exclude capital expenses (such as facilities and new construction).
[Source: NPR | Robert Benincasa & Alyson Hurt | Jan. 13, 2014 ]