VA’s Veterans Experience Action Center (VEAC) continues to find success helping Veterans file benefit claims, health care claims, enroll in health care, and connect with peer networks. In November, VA hosted the Southern Texas VEAC. It was the most successful to date, connecting a record 565 Veterans with VA services.
“I like this program a lot,” said one Veteran who participated in the southern Texas VEAC. “This is the first time I’ve ever been able to talk to somebody at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and I’ve been out since 2000.”
We chatted with the Texas Veterans Commission to share more about VEACs.
(Listen to our episode on “The Voice of Texas Veterans”)
Veterans experience successful outcomes
The Veterans Experience Action Center helped Veterans seeking assistance in a variety of areas, and 89% of participants said they would recommend this event to other Veterans. Specifically, the Southern Texas VEAC helped:
- 200 Veterans file a new claim with the VBA
- 36 Veterans file a claim for the first time
- 34 Veterans enroll in health care with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
- 11 Veterans engage with homeless support
More than half of participating Veterans completed the Community Signals (CSignals) survey, with 79% giving the VEAC an overall positive impact score and 95.9% saying they felt respected and valued during their call.
“Having someone in person was the biggest help,” one Veteran participant shared. “Half the time I’m lost on the computer, but the personal contact was of immense value to me. He made sure I was on the right track and pointed me to the next steps.”
The VEAC covered 54 counties in southern Texas, and at least one Veteran from 38 of those counties participated. More than half (57.8%) of participants live in Bexar County, home of San Antonio. Women Veterans accounted for 22.2% of participants.
VA also held a Veterans Experience Live (VetXL) event for Southern Texas Veterans in late October. Veterans and their family members, service members, caregivers and survivors were invited to chat with VA and community experts. The event featured VA and subject matter experts who answered more than 199 questions on benefits, claims, peer-to-peer support services and more.
VEACs demonstrate the importance of collaboration
VEACs are a collaboration between VHA, VBA, National Cemetery Administration, Board of Veterans’ Appeals, state departments of Veterans Affairs, and other community partners working together to offer one-on-one personalized assistance for: VA benefits, VA health care, crisis resources, memorial affairs, community services and more. Veterans, service members, caregivers and survivors make an appointment online. They select the optimal time and day to fit within their availability. At the end of each appointment VA gathers feedback from those served.
VEACs began four years ago to proactively assist Veterans, family members, caregivers and survivors as a one-stop resource. VEACs bring together Peer-to-Peer support, VetXL, VetResources and CSignals in a holistic effort to increase access to needed services. To date, VEACs have served more than 5,000 Veterans, their family members, service members, caregivers and survivors.
Interested in attending a VEAC event? Future VEACs and VetXLs are planned for Colorado in March 2022. VA will update the VEAC site as more events are scheduled. Be sure to check back.