Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits

The Under Secretary for Benefits, in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, directs the Veterans Benefits Administration through regional offices in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The Under Secretary is responsible for the administration of benefits provided by the Department to veterans and dependents, including compensation, pension, education, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation, and life insurance.

The Under Secretary is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The occupant of the position is required to be appointed without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of his or her demonstrated ability in fiscal management and the administration of programs within the Veterans Benefits Administration or programs of similar content and scope. The Under Secretary is appointed for terms of four years, and reappointment is possible for successive periods. The President is required to communicate his reasons to Congress if the Under Secretary for Benefits is removed from office. Whenever there is a vacancy in the position, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs must set up a commission to recommend to the President candidates for appointment.[1]

The Veterans Benefits Administration has been in existence since the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in October 1988, when it was led by a Chief Benefits Director.[2] In 1994, the title was changed to Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits.[3]

Under Secretary Allison A. Hickey resigned in October 2015.[4]

On February 27, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Paul R. Lawrence to become the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits.[5] The nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2018 by Voice Vote.[6] Mr Reeves was sworn in by SECVA on May 15, 2018. He resigned the post on January 20, 2021.

President Joe Biden has not yet nominated anyone to the role and the position is currently vacant, as of June 27, 2021. The Acting Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits is Thomas J. Murphy, Director of the Northeast District, Veterans Benefits Administration. Mr Murphy also previously served as Acting Under Secretary between June 2016 and May 2018.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "US CODE: Title 38,306. Under Secretary for Benefits". Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  2. ^ "Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2007-09-24.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "US CODE: Title 38,306. Under Secretary for Benefits". Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  4. ^ "VA benefits chief Allison Hickey resigns". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  5. ^ "VA announces Paul Lawrence as new Under Secretary for Benefits - VAntage Point". VAntage Point. 2018-05-14. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  6. ^ "PN1664 - Nomination of Paul R. Lawrence for Department of Veterans Affairs, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". www.congress.gov. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2021-06-27.
  7. ^ Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. "Thomas J. Murphy - Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs". www.va.gov. Retrieved 2021-06-27.