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.

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20 Comments

  1. MiV March 31, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    F— you! Truth hurts

  2. MiV March 31, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Everytime the VA changes a program that they finally having working to expectations after years of trial and error some Genius that has never worked in the process decides to make a NEW AND I PROVED process. This leaves us Vets and the VA employees frustrated beyond belief as nothing goes as PLANNED. All we Vets get are EXCUSES if the private sector ran like this they would not be in business. It is a joke not only to the Vets that HAVE to use the systems but our family members, friends and neighbors know how incompetent the VA is at the upper ranks and how it operates. The big joke is NO ONE CAN LOOSE THEIR JOB so who cares. This is nothing new with the VA as the powers to be have been screwing up processes for 40 years. So yes, I’ll wait until the PROCESS gets back logged…SEE VETERAN CLAIMS SYSTEM…. for several months and then someone in D.C. will hire a new director who won’t be able to do anything but HEY, it’s a Press Release RIGHT??? Finally there will be alotted FUNDS to hire a bunch of people to PROCESS claims LIKE WE USE TO DO and we all will get out back pay in 2023. I have often wonder how VA Employees feel about how the rest of Americans think about them…. Must be a proud bunch so let’s throw money at the problem when people complain enough! The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAY OF DEALING WITH PROBLEMS THEY CREATE THEMSELVES!

  3. Jan Jackson March 28, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    I used a kiosk in Durham on 06JAN21. The kiosk had paper to print the submission acceptance. I have called at least 3 times, spoke with someone twice. The first reply was it is on one of our desk, we’ll get to it in approximately 4 weeks. Second reply was we have a new system and trying to learn it. Still waiting for the return call from last week.
    When I go to the website. I’m told the system has no information.
    Super frustrating. USAF

  4. Larry C. Holt March 24, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Have tried numerous times to update my profile to change my direct deposit information with no success. The site says the profile was updated & I should get a confirmation, but I never get a confirmation. Next time I look at the profile it is unchanged. Called the local travel office and got nowhere; they seems to be totally overwhelmed by the new system. Still waiting for a travel claim I submitted at the kiosk in November just before the new system went in effect.

  5. Donna Armeli March 18, 2021 at 9:44 am

    I want to know why who can help me with an ambulance bill? My veteran husband had a fever and was trying to get undressed. I called 911 he was treated in a hospital for sepsis. I received a phone call from VA saying only reason they aren’t paying is that he was less than 30% service connected. My husband along with every other service person signed up at 100%, not 20%,30%,50%…They protected this country not 20%,30%,50%of it but 100%.

  6. Marvin Awtry March 18, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I have tried numerous times to Log In to DS Logon and each time it says “Error” I have called VA, even my VA Advocate and still no one can log me in. So, I guess the guy who says there are BUGS in the software is correct. I am still using the USPS paper trail.

    [Editor: You’ve probably already tried this, so this is for others who may be seeing this, but we’ve noticed that it works best on Chrome, Safari, and Edge browsers, NOT Internet Explorer or Firefox. Microsoft abandoned IE a year or more ago? That browser is unsupported.]

  7. Joseph Montgomery March 18, 2021 at 12:22 am

    I call BS! This is now the end of March and I have unpaid travel from December 30 till now! I’ve file at the kiosks electronically, at the travel window and even called and did it by phone. I can have a DS logon because in may of 2018 that system was hacked and my disability pay was rerouted somewhere else. That was a MESS FOR 30 DAYS! Since then they locked me out of DS logon. Your reliance on so much technology is a hardship on veterans and allows the already inefficient system to be even more inefficient. Just MHO!

  8. oliver p samora jr March 17, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    they say faster but they are behind 2 months for me

  9. Forrest Dellinger March 17, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    Why don’t the goverment make it easy for us older people that don’t have pc, lap tops or knows how to us a I phone. When you check in for your appointment why doesn’t that go them direct so you get paid for your travel and if you have community out patient service, these Ladies that set this up should be able to make sure you get paid, due to I have to report to them what is going on or the doctors nurse does. The government makes it so hard for people and we gave our lives!!!!!!!!

  10. Frank Malinski March 15, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Note for the moderator….this message is not intended to be a response for posting…more of a suggestion that hopefully you might be able to run up the flagpole regarding the BTSSS subject.

    It appears that someone at Augusta VA Healthcare System created a short series of tutorial videos for folks….

    1. How to access the BTSS Portal
    2. How to create a claim that is not listed in the Portal
    3. How to enter a CiTC claim
    4. How to create a claim in the Portal.

    It might help the VA, systemwide, if either these videos were made more widely known or, maybe even have a set of videos created by the BTSSS/Public Affairs gurus so that anyone can access them from one web location.

    If you go to the Facebook page for Augusta VA Medical Center, under the Videos tab, they are videos that were posted in mid to late February.

    Thanks

  11. Frank Malinski March 15, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Take a moment to look at the comments (complaints) posted on the Durham VA Facebook page regarding BTSSS. These, along with comments posted by others here, show that there are systematic issues with BTSSS.
    “The BTSSS automates the claims process to ensure TIMELY processing and PAYMENT of travel claims. With BTSSS, TURNAROUND TIME TO EVALUATE AND SETTLE A CLAIM IS LESS THAN 5 DAYS.” emphasis added. This is a direct quote from the VISN 4 website.

    https://www.visn4.va.gov/VISN4/features/beneficiary-travel-reimbursement.asp

    There is no excuse for Veterans waiting 30 days or more (one Veteran posted that he has 5 claims “In Manual Review” FROM LAST YEAR.

    I’ve also had the opportunity to speak to folks at the BTSSS Call Center (855.574.2000). One major glowing issue that I have raised with both the Call Center staff and my local VA….the greeting message for the Call Center tells Veterans that they can contact their local Bene Travel Office via Secure Messaging. I don’t know if ANY Bene Travel Office is communicating with Veterans via Secure Messaging. Most definitely not the Durham VA.

  12. Richard Baretela March 15, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I file my travel claims on the kiosk when I check in. It takes about 30 seconds. The reimbursement is in my account in 48 hours or less.

    • Frank Malinski March 15, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      VA facilities have phased out the kiosks with the implementation of BTSSS with the last VISN supposed to have transitioned over in early November 2020.

      “As BTSSS goes live, the use of kiosks will be discontinued however, in person claims and hard-copy submissions are still available. For more information on BTSSS and eligibility, visit the VA Travel Pay Reimbursement webpage.”

      https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5478

  13. SW March 14, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    LIES!!! Complete and total LIES! This “new and improved program” is full of bugs and problems. It takes 60 days for benefit travel to “investigate” travel claims of veterans, implying that veterans are trying to cheat , lie and steal from the va benefits that are due them for going to their appointments, especially all their community care appointments. This site REFUSES to post my comments because they know I am telling veterans the TRUTH about this BOGUS PROGRAM and that the va is INTENTIONALLY DENYING veterans theirs travel reimbursements!!!!!! IF veterans must submit their travel claims within 30 days of their travel to appointments then the va must reimburse veterans with 30 of the submission of those claims!!!! Otherwise the va should NOT make any deductions from the veterans’ travel to “ensure there is enough money to cover the travel of all veterans”. Also, the va SHOULD NOT pay travel to any veteran who is an employee who is employed by the va and has an appointment at the va facility where they work when they are ALREADY AT WORK!!!

    [Editor: All comments go into queue for moderation; this blog is not staffed on the weekends or after 1600 ET on weekdays.]

    • Joseph Passarelli March 16, 2021 at 9:35 am

      One or two angry and disgruntled vet with an axe to grind who didn’t get their way according to their rule interpritation? Check your anger management, Pal. The whole system does NOT revolve around you. What are you doing to correct the issue besides sending middle-school crying teen notes to the Message section in a informational email and getting angry at everybody? You DO NOT speak for all Veterans. especielly me.
      My medical issues and corrosponding administration of them are brilliantly handled. By bright and friendly staff too. If you approched me with that attitude, I too would make sure you dot every “i” and cross every “t”. So you probly screwed up and gdidn’t get a freebee on a close call.
      The Mental Health Clinics have cricis hot lines. Get chilled and then get the issues resolved.

      • SW March 17, 2021 at 2:53 pm

        Middle school? You can’t even spell at grade school levels. My information comes from the benefits travel office at my va medical center!

  14. SW March 13, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Why won’t you post my comments?????????? Why are you so afraid of the veterans of this great country finding out the truth of what you are really doing?????????????

    [Editor: All comments go into a queue for moderation, and this blog is staffed to 1600 ET on weekdays. When you posted the same comment five times, the system marked them all as spam. When you posted your next comment four times, the system routed those, too, to the spam folder. I’ve restored one each of those comments for publishing.]

  15. Barry F Walter March 12, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    I hope that the system has been improved since first released.
    I filed two claims in N ovember which showed in the system as pending. After not receiving payment I checked the system and both claims had disappeared and could not be reentered.

  16. SW March 12, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    This is NOT the weekend, why aren’t you posting my comments? Are you afraid of veterans hearing the TRUTH?????

  17. SW March 12, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    LIES!!!!! ALL LIES!!!!! I’m Still Waiting for my January reimbursement!!!!! I was told that it would take 60 DAYS to research my travel, as though I’m lying about my community care appointments when the va has farmed me out to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have absolutely NO REASON TO BELIEVE I will ever be reimbursed for my travel!!!!!!!!!!! Here it is March and I have not been reimbursed for my February travel either!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is MARCH and my Va is FARMING ME OUT for another appointment that I normally have at my VA but they don’t even have the courtesy to even call me to say they have the referral for me!!! They are booking out to July now and don’t even have the courtesy to call me and tell me that!!!!!! THEY ARE IGNORING ME!!!!!!!!! Their EXCUSE is “due to covid”. B.S. They have all had both of their Covid vaccine shots so that IS NOT a good excuse!!!!!!!!!! I was told by an employee in the benefit travel office that their “new and streamlined process” is full of bugs and problems that were not anticipated nor expected and they are get few fixes but it will be several weeks before it’s fixed.

    I CHALLENGE anyone at the VA who is concerned with this pack of lies to contact me and tell me I’m wrong and PROVE IT by paying me the travel I am due with interest!!!! within this week!!!! I have to turn in my travel claims within 30 days of the travel in order to get rei,mbursed and it’s only fair that the VA PAY me with in 30 days of my travel vouchers being turned in!!!!!!!!!

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