Eligible Veterans and caregivers, you can now file reimbursement claims for travel related to your medical appointments from your PC, tablet or smart phone. With VA’s launch of the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), you can enjoy fast payments, more convenience, and a new ability to track in-process reimbursement claims.
“If you go to the BTSSS website and file your claim, you will get paid faster. And everyone wants to be paid immediately,” said Kerrie Sanders, a Veteran who has been using the system since it first launched in July 2020. “It might go to manual review, but if there are no issues, it automatically pays out in 72 hours in my experience.”
In addition to being a regular user of BTSSS, Sanders is a VA employee who helps others understand the Beneficiary Travel program and the process for filing a reimbursement claim at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
The Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), you can enjoy fast payments, more convenience, and a new ability to track in-process reimbursement claims.
Advantage: Just a few days vs. 45 days … or longer
BTSSS is VA’s preferred method to receive travel reimbursement claims and related documentation, but submitting a claim using Form 10-3542 remains an option. However, if you want a faster payment, BTSSS has the clear advantage. Paper claims may take 45 days or longer to be processed, while BTSSS claims take just a few days.
According to Sanders, other advantages of BTSSS over paper claims include the ability to:
- see your appointment details in one place,
- track a claim to see if it has been paid, incomplete or in manual review,
- ask questions of the travel office in your claim notes.
Like Sanders, other Veterans have been using BTSSS since it first became available. They’ve reported that it’s a very easy system to use and is user friendly.
BTSSS can be used on android or Apple phones or other devices to file and check on claims. You just need to log in to the Access VA website, choose “I am a Veteran,” and select “Veteran Travel Claim Entry.”
Once you are signed in, you can pull up your appointments, answer a few questions, and snap photos of your receipts if needed. If you make a mistake, you can just hit “back.” You can also find out you how much you’ve been reimbursed year to date.
Four easy steps to get started
Veterans and caregivers using the system for the first time can get started in four easy steps:
Step 1: Set Up Direct Deposit. Make sure that you are set up to receive payments directly into your bank account. If you do not have direct deposit set up already, you will need to complete and fax or hand deliver VA Form 10091 to your local beneficiary travel office.
Step 2: Get a DS Logon. Veterans will need a Department of Defense (DoD) DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) account. Simply go to DoD DS Logon Access Center to register, verify or upgrade your DS Logon account.
Step 3: Login to BTSSS. Once you have a DS Logon, go to https://access.va.gov and use it to log in and review or create your profile.
Step 4: File your claim. Now that your account is all set, file your first claim.
Learn more about filing a claim online with BTSSS and the eligibility for beneficiary travel benefits at the VA Travel Pay Reimbursement webpage.
Stephanie Eber is a health science specialist with Post-Deployment Health Services.