There is in the Department a Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Deputy Secretary shall perform such functions as the Secretary shall prescribe. Unless the President designates another officer of the Government, the Deputy Secretary shall be Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the absence or disability of the Secretary or in the event of a vacancy in the office of Secretary.
38 U.S. Code § 304 - Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 210(d) of this title and in section 3(a) of Pub. L. 100–527, known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 2(a), 3(3).
For order of succession during any period when both Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs are unable to perform functions and duties of office of Secretary, see Ex. Ord. No. 13247, Dec. 18, 2001, 66 F.R. 66271, listed in a table under section 3345 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.