The internet has transformed our lives. With a few clicks and swipes, we can quickly find information, connect and communicate with people around the world, learn new skills and get training, search for jobs, and even get health care with telehealth services. Veterans and those who care for them turn to online services for getting and managing their VA benefits, health care, and other services, and VA’s improved VA.gov website makes that even easier with exciting new features.
VA.gov has been redesigned based on Veterans’ feedback about their experience, so now information on VA benefits and services that Veterans said they most need is simpler to find and understand. Veterans can create a secure, online account on VA.gov to enroll in VA benefits and services, send their providers secure messages, access their health records, manage their profile information, and choose how they receive communication from VA. Veterans can now do even more with VA.gov.
Coronavirus Vaccine Information
Veterans can sign up for updates on coronavirus vaccinations in their areas through the Keep Me Informed form. Veterans are eager to take advantage of this feature for clear, timely information on how they protect themselves and their loved ones: it accounts for ~80% of VA.gov transactions, and over 570,000 have signed up already. Veterans can also find out the latest information through the interactive coronavirus chatbot.
Sign up for VA Benefits Before Military Separation
Service members can file for disability compensation claims 180-90 days before leaving active duty, which means they can receive VA benefits when they leave the military. Filing your disability compensation claim through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program allows VA to proactively schedule exams, review treatment records, and evaluate claims before separation, with many claimants receiving their decision the day after leaving active duty. Since its re-launch in November 2020, there have been 1,851 submissions, with hundreds more taking advantage of this feature each week.
CLICK HERE to learn more about filing a pre-discharge disability benefits claim, and other benefits service members can apply for while in pre-discharge status.
Manage Your VA Debt
Veterans can get a quick view of their financial responsibilities with VA, including debts related to education benefits (GI Bill), disability compensation and pension with VA.gov’s online debt management tool. With VA.gov’s online debt management tool, Veterans can easily check the status of their VA debt and find out what options they have to resolve it, including updates on COVID-19 relief options.
Find Local Providers in the Community
Veterans can receive care at VA-approved community providers and get their medications at VA-approved pharmacies, and now can find those local facilities through VA.gov’s improved Facility Locator tool. With the Facility Locator tool, Veterans can quickly find local health care providers and pharmacies in VA’s network, as well as local VA facilities.
Find a VA Form
Veterans and those who care for or represent them need current VA forms for such important transactions as applying for VA health care and applying for benefits. VA.gov’s improved forms tool now highlights the most frequently used VA forms and provides step-by-step information on them, which helps Veterans fill them out correctly. These forms are downloadable or available as an online option, if available for that form. Veterans also find out how to request their military records, VA records, and change their direct deposit information; these links are so helpful to Veterans that VA has seen an increase in them being used from 4% to 92%, meaning that more Veterans are taking advantage of the additional context to identify the right forms.
CLICK HERE to find the VA form you need, and links to requesting non-VA information.
Get Email and Text Notifications
Veterans can now receive more notifications on important VA information via email and text messages. The VANotify tool sends Veterans notifications of changes to their VA accounts, confirmation of receiving their benefits applications, and tracking of VA pharmacy deliveries. As the VANotify tool expands, teams across VA will be able to send Veterans monthly notifications about benefits payments, information on debt acquisition, and other personalized push notifications. This means Veterans and their loved ones receive information from VA on what is important to them faster and more reliably than they may have experienced with postal mail.
For example, VANotify was recently able to send over 200,000 Veterans timely notifications about coronavirus vaccinations. There is nothing Veterans need to do to get email and text notifications with VANotify; as long as your contact information is current with VA, you will receive these notifications.
VA knows staying informed on information on the VA health care, benefits and services available to you is important, and VA.gov is continually improving, making your online experience easier, simpler and faster. Check out http://VA.gov regularly for the latest information and tools to manage your VA experience. And be sure to create your VA account profile so you can choose your communication and notification preferences.