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Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)


Paralyzed Veterans of America logoThe Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946. PVA is concerned with the most catastrophically disabled veterans, paralyzed veterans, and its programs reflect this interest. There are an estimated 100,000 veterans with a spinal cord injury or disease.

The work PVA does benefits all veterans and all individuals with a disability. PVA is a 501C3 organization according to the Internal Revenue Service code.

Mission Statement

The Paralyzed Veterans of America has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of its members - veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.

PVA will use that expertise to be the leading advocate for:

               Quality health care for members,

               Research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction,

               Benefits available as a result of members' military service,

               Civil rights and opportunities which maximize the independence of members.

Departments and Programs

The Communication Program

The Communication Program's mission is to inform a variety of audiences about PVA's priorities, concerns, programs, and activities, employing a wide array of medium from television, radio, print and the internet to get PVA's message out.

Government Relations

The PVA Government Relations Department consists of:

               The National Advocacy Program

               The National Legislation Program

               Health Analysis

Through these programs, the Department addresses the needs of veterans and others who experience spinal cord dysfunction or other disabilities, through interaction with nonprofit and private entities and government at every level.

Combining expertise and experience with commitment and energy, the staff of the Government Relations Department seeks to ensure that the needs of PVA members are considered as public officials debate issues and develop policies and guarantee that the benefits and rights of all citizens with disabilities are protected.

The National Architecture Program

Accessible design means eliminating the physical barriers that keep people with disabilities out of homes, office buildings, hospitals, and other public spaces. Ensuring access is the overriding goal of the National Architecture Program.

These efforts increase housing and employment opportunities for veterans with disabilities and enhance the quality of life for all people with physical and age-related impairments. The Program combines technical expertise and an understanding of the requirements of people with disabilities in developing practical, cost-effective approaches to accessibility.

Office of the General Counsel

Ensuring that all veterans receive their earned benefits and lead a quality life is a goal of PVA. Lawyers from the General Counsel's Office help veterans obtain those benefits through judicial review if their claim has been denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Unfortunately, for many veterans the promise of effective judicial review has proven elusive. The process for review of veterans benefits cases is complicated, and many veterans need the assistance of an attorney to pursue their claim. However, a large percentage of veterans who appeal to the Court have been unable to secure the legal assistance they need.

The General Counsel's office administers a number of programs to help veterans receive competent representation as they pursue their claim in court without cost to the veteran. In addition, the General Counsel's office has funded a number of publications on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

PVA Magazines

PVA publishes two magazines, PN/Paraplegia News and Sports 'n Spokes. These magazines are designed to provide PVA members and others with disabilities with the latest developments in veterans benefits, legislative action, spinal cord research, technology, lifestyle issues, and sports and recreation.

Published monthly, PN/Paraplegia News is PVA's official publication. It has a worldwide readership estimated to be more than 80,000. For additional information, see the PN website at:

Sports 'n Spokes covers the world of wheelchair sports and recreation for adult and junior athletes and enthusiasts. The magazine is published eight times a year. For additional information, see its website at:

Research, Education and Practice Guidelines

PVA's research program brings together its two foundations - PVA Spinal Cord Research Foundation (SCRF) and PVA Spinal Cord Injury Education and Training Foundation (ETF) - with the evidence-based clinical practice guidelines program. By connecting these programs, PVA can better integrate research, education, and health care for the benefit of our members and all people with spinal cord dysfunction. The grants and publications produced by this new program represent a commitment to PVA's mission of advancing research, increasing the knowledge of health-care providers, and improving health care.

Sports and Recreation Program

Sports improves lives. Participating in a sport helps a person physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. For people with disabilities, sports have benefits during rehabilitation and throughout life. PVA's Sports and Recreation Program promotes a range of activities for members and other people with disabilities, with special emphasis on activities that enhance lifetime health and fitness.

PVA is a direct or supporting sponsor of national competitions and training programs for every major wheelchair sport in the United States

Veterans Benefits Department

The PVA Veterans Benefits Department provides assistance and representation, without charge, to veterans with a spinal cord dysfunction and other veterans seeking health care and other benefits for which they are eligible. This assistance is offered through a network of PVA national service officers around the country. Service officers assist members and other veterans in understanding and obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Through the medical services, field services, and appellate services programs it provides, the PVA Veterans Benefits Department develops and administers programs that benefit PVA members both directly and indirectly.


There is a network of local PVA chapters in many states across the country. For information about the chapter closest to you, see:

Contact Information

Paralyzed Veterans of America
801 Eighteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517


Additional Information

PVA produces a number of publications covering a wide range of topics such as medical practice guidelines and consumer guides, accessible design, veterans benefits and legal issues, health care, and federal health programs and managed care issues. Most of PVA's publications are available in a printed format, but a number are available for download at no cost from the PVA website. You can read or download the PVA publications catalog that provides a brief description of each publication, price, and ordering information in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) online at:

See also:

Veterans Service Organizations - Overview

Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits - Overview


Information for this topic was drawn from the PVA website at:

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