6 New Online Tools for Accessing Your VA Benefits
Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2018
In what is being called an “ambitious modernization plan,” the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) recently rolled out improvements to its communication avenues for veterans and their families, with a primary focus on online tools.
In a statement acknowledging that communicating with the VA can sometimes be “complicated and frustrating,” the VA recently outlined some of its most major access improvements, including:
- Easier enrollment. If you’ve never enrolled in VA services, you can now easily apply online with an estimated response time of under one week. Open to both veterans and to those caring for post-9/11 veterans or servicemembers, the new online resources outlines how to check your eligibility, what documents to gather, how to get help with your application and ways to apply (email, phone, in person or online). VA cites that more than 250,000 applications have been submitted using this tool.
- New appointment management. VA patients can now schedule appointments online for audiology, optometry, outpatient mental health services and primary care at more than 100 participating medical centers across the country. You must be using a free My HealtheVet Premium account, but doing so gives you access to numerous tools like appointment email reminders, directions for upcoming appointments, an online appointment scheduler, a personal health care calendar and the access to review any appointment in the last two years.
- Prescription refills and health care communication. You can now easily get more personalized account information online, including communicating with your health care team and refilling your prescriptions from your phone.
- Status checks on claims. Improvements also include a more streamlined way for Veterans to check the status of their appeals and claims in one place, with the VA promising more improvements in the Appeals process in the coming year.
- Tools for GI Bill benefits and comparison. Compare your potential education benefits by school with the GI Bill Comparison tool or check the status of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits online. You can also access a statement of benefits to verify eligibility with their school and see how much of your funds remain for education and training.
- Updated application for benefits. The VA has revamped its application process for burial, education and pension benefits in an effort to make it easier for veterans, servicemembers and dependents to access them.
With these improvements and new tools, the VA is continuing its efforts to overhaul its services, improve response rates and the gaps in service that have been coming to light in the recent years.
According to the recent statement, the department is also looking for caretakers and dependents to participate in 30 or 45-minute feedback sessions – conducted in person or remotely – to help continue to improve its online tools. Participants receive a $15-25 reimbursement for their time.