Veterans get updates through new digital notification feature


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Veterans, their families and caregivers can now receive digital notifications through VANotify, a new paperless platform.

While Veterans already receive appointment notifications through VEText, VA sends most notifications via postal mail. With VANotify, Veterans can now receive even more VA notifications by email and text.

Veterans do not have to sign up for VANotify. VA automatically is using it on the back-end to streamline communications to Veterans who receive services from VA, as long as the Veteran’s contact information with VA is up to date.

Mail delivery is a slow and expensive process. It can lead to Veterans amassing piles of letters related to their health care, benefits, and other services. Challenges can also arise when Veterans change addresses or do not have easy access to a mailbox. With the launch of VANotify, which was developed using open source software, VA further expands the Department’s capability to effortlessly send Veterans emails and texts to support the following functions:

  • Confirming Veterans’ receipt of benefits applications
  • Notifying Veterans of changes to their VA accounts
  • Helping Veterans track their VA Pharmacy deliveries

Other uses

Most recently, VA used the feature to notify Veterans about COVID-19 vaccinations. Over 200,000 Veterans received communications around vaccination planning through VANotify.

There are plans to expand the use of VANotify to include:

  • Sending monthly SMS notifications about benefit payments
  • Sending information about debt acquisition
  • Expanding VANotify features to enable push notifications (automated messages sent by VA applications to a user)

VA’s investments in digital applications such as the COVID-19 Chatbot“I am Here” texting solution, the Digital Screener tool, and now VANotify, ensure Veterans have more options and flexibility in accessing the benefits and services they have earned.

Charles Worthington, VA’s chief technology officer, highlighted the technologists, analysts, and partners across VA and private industry who collaborated to deliver this innovative IT solution.

“At VA, our number one priority is delivering excellent customer service to our Veterans,” Worthington said. “It has been incredible to see so many VA staff from across the agency come together and quickly deliver creative solutions to new problems. VANotify is a great example of VA’s commitment to using new technologies to improve our services.”


Story courtesy Office of Information and Technology.

Editor’s note: This post updated, adding the third paragraph.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Martin Bender    

    They wrote this article/blog-post and they provided no links for additional info about either VEText or VANotify. This is somewhat funny & is very sad. They did not add any links for us to learn more and/or sign-up for these services (VEText or VANotify).
    “While Veterans already receive appointment notifications through VEText, VA sends most notifications via postal mail. With VANotify, Veterans can now receive even more VA notifications by email and text”.
    What?
    “While Veterans already receive appointment notifications through VEText”. <–Whoever wrote that sentence is either wrong or lying.
    How do we use either one? VEText or VANotify?
    My only personal digital channel to the VA is via MyHealtheVet, which is at best "OK". One of my VA Doctor's told me the MyHealtheVet interface helps her very little and is MOSTLY a hindrance & obstacle to her daily work @PHX VA Hospital.

  2. Martin Bender    

    They wrote this article (blog post) and they provided no links (for additional info) to either VEText or VANotify. This is somewhat funny & very sad; that they did not add links for us to learn more and/or sign-up for these services.
    “While Veterans already receive appointment notifications through VEText, VA sends most notifications via postal mail. With VANotify, Veterans can now receive even more VA notifications by email and text”.
    Uh, what? Did you really say this?->>
    “While Veterans already receive appointment notifications through VEText”. <–Whoever wrote that sentence is either wrong or lying.
    How do we use either one? VEText or VANotify?
    My only digital channel to the VA is via MyHealtheVet, which is at best "OK". One of my VA Doctor's told me the MyHealtheVet interface helps her very little and is MOSTLY a hindrance & obstacle to her daily work @PHX VA Hospital.

  3. Michael huyter    

    Don’t really want the texts and whatnot, I use the paper as an indication I got the information. Plus when they make an appointment for me, I’m not always notified by email, phone calls or regular mail. One other thing is: on the paper list of appointments or even the email there’s no way to know if the appointment is in person at the VA facility or it’s a phone appointment. So the mailed paperwork does help alot, but again one does not know in-person visit or a phone call, at least I have a number to call and find out.

  4. Gregory Walker    

    Why do veterans have to file the same forms to get rate increases when open cases are pending.?

  5. Steven Palmer    

    YOu guys may or maynot have been throught hell I have. I believe you all. I believe most of us are holding back for fear of reprisal, plus we are really screwe dup due to megigence and lack or proper care. I have proof, but they stil deny it. I have a snapshot of boxes, zerox boxes with only some of my medical records from active duty and the va hospitals. I would posat it, but no provision here. They will fight you to your death. Everyone at the va wil fight you as if you are reaching into their personal pcot and taking soemthing with your name on it. Somthing they wil fight to the death to keep you from getting your help, your due for your injuries, like they took it upon themslves to fight every lying vet that crawls in. Taht is how they feel about us. I wish I could pos tht emontains of records and the hell I have endured, and countells hours inhsopital beds unable to eat or drink for 6 months after they cut up my pancreas. And fought me over that too even though I fianlly won, but wil never ever go a day again without serve suffering.

  6. Roger Heathcote    

    I have had both my covid vaccinations through our Milwaukee VA. It was a smooth process and I thought it was very well organized . Thank you!

    Roger Heathcote

  7. Brian t Martin    

    My records on my healthvet isn’t correct. I am P&T (permanent and total) yet on there it says I’m not. Plus many of my diagnoses are incorrect and/or not all listed. How can I expect my doctor to give me the best care possible if she don’t have all my information???

  8. Jim Corkrum    

    I pay $15 a month for cell service. Free texts

  9. Tom Orn    

    WHY is no one answering these questions?!?

  10. Rob Reisinger    

    I was denied disability benefits why am I on the list. It is very annoying to receive notices of benefits I have been denied. Nothing like rubbing salt in an open wound!

    1. Susan stone    

      The wait time on a VA claim is outrageously long. They have no clue what they are doing. Already had one BVA hearing then scheduled another one which that does not happen and none knew why it took me an about an hour being on the phone to straighten it out. They need to get people that know what they are doing working there .

  11. Att    

    Soany ways for info, so many logins, passwords websites, come on va streamline the process. Ebenefits va.gov 50 freaking apps. You never know what is legit from the va.

  12. Crystal Hopper    

    Please provide a link or a way to access VA Notify. When I Google it, I always get something to do with Virginia. Please start including a link or a way to access the information you are talking about – that would be helpful.

  13. Joby Gordon    

    This new VANotify would have been a great feature to have running in August 2020 if it had the ability to notify me to expect a very important letter in the mail. A letter that I sadly misplaced which had a detrimental effect on my VA claim.

    If in the future, would it be possible to send a VANotify email to alert us veterans to keep an eye out for a letter from the VA?

    Thank you.

  14. Larry Johns    

    It would be great if the VA could consolidate all of the emails and text messages from different sites into one spot. I am constantly daily bombarded with VA email and text messages. What’s the benefit of getting another email or text message?

  15. Brian Richmond    

    Second paragraph of this article indicates it is a back office system that is already beginning to use email & text so long as we have provided VA with updated email & phone number to receive text at.

  16. Sonny Starks    

    Not every veteran has, or desires to have, a cell phone or receive text messages. For some of us who cannot afford a $150 + cell bill every month, any texts we receive MUST BE PAID FOR! VA, you didn’t think this through! If a Veteran WANTS to receive texts from you, he/she should be required to sign up! Where and how do I opt out?

  17. Yvette    

    Awesome! How do we get access to it?

  18. Roger Harris    

    It says you don’t have to sign up for it but when will we start seeing the updates?

  19. Stacy    

    Same question here to

  20. bruce harris    

    The heading for todays email was “Do you qualify for 50% off Amazon Prime?”. The problem was I could not find the answer, can you help me with this? Would like to save money on Prime.

    1. Todd Peterson    

      Same comment as above! The heading for todays email was “Do you qualify for 50% off Amazon Prime?”. Where is the information for this? I am coming up on my renewal and surely would love to save 50%!!

  21. Dennis J Nickels    

    Veterans do not have to sign up for VANotify. VA automatically is using it on the back-end to streamline communications to Veterans who receive services from VA, as long as the Veteran’s contact information with VA is up to date.

  22. Joe Stone    

    Great idea. Now how does a veteran use it? Is it an app? Is it through the VA Health website?

    1. Vanessa Heath    

      It says that it is automatic. So you don’t have to sign up it will just automatically send messages to your phone and email.

Comments are closed.