A recent Virtual Veterans Experience Action Center (VEAC) reached 383 Veterans in Kentucky. VEACs began four years ago as a way to proactively assist Veterans, family members, caregivers and survivors as a one-stop resource.
VEAC brings together V-VEACs, Peer-to-Peer support, Veterans Experience Live (VetXL), VetResources, and Community Signals (CSignals) in a holistic effort to increase access to needed services. The newest addition to this list of services provided under the VEAC pilot program is Peer-to-Peer support.
Peer-to-Peer organizations provide emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical assistance, and connect Veterans with resources, opportunities and communities of support that positively impact the lives of Veterans, families, caregivers and survivors.
“The event was unbelievable and awesome,” said Veteran Judy Calloway. “Got what I needed in one call. No-hassle customer service. Everything was smooth sailing. This was a fabulous event!”
VEAC will continue to serve Veteran communities across the nation, next in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Texas.
Kentucky V-VEAC: another successful day for Veterans
Veterans from across the state of Kentucky benefited from V-VEAC appointments.
From July 13th through 15th, VA partnered with the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, United Way 211, and other community partners to host the latest V-VEAC in Kentucky. This event provided immediate action on the needs of 383 Veterans. Of these Veterans, 83 were female. These 83 female Veterans represented 19% of event participants in a state where approximately 8% of Veterans are female. Also, every decade was represented from the 1950s to the present day, and Veterans from all service branches.
Virtual Veterans Experience Action Center stats
- 82 new claims were filed with the Veterans Benefits Administration; 19 appeals were filed, 30 intents to file were initiated, and 51 Veterans were enrolled in health care with the Veterans Health Administration.
- 12 Veterans were engaged in homeless support before the start of the event.
- This event resulted in the most ever calls to the National Cemetery Administration and United Way 211.
- A new facet of V-VEAC services was Peer-to-Peer networking, and 40 Veterans took advantage of this.
- 246 Veterans completed the CSignals survey, with an overall positive impact score of 89%.
While data is essential in determining future locations and evaluating successes, the personal stories from the Veterans served to give the best insight into the value of the V-VEAC events. Some highlights include:
Veteran, Julie Reed, who was on the appointment with her husband, also a Veteran, said of her experience, “I received more help than I have ever received… It’s the absolute truth… I really appreciate y’all!”
Veteran William Elliott said, “Very efficient, everyone took the time to answer all my questions. Everyone was super nice. Really appreciate VA reached out to me. Thank you all. Everyone I spoke with made me feel like I was back in the service where everyone takes care of each other.”
Lysander Bone, a Veteran who had an appeal for two years that he has been unable to resolve or receive satisfactory service with, now has a path forward to favorable resolution. During Mr. Bone’s appointment, a VBA representative was able to answer Mr. Bone’s questions and help him determine the next steps to move closer to positive closure. Lysander said, “I have inquired about my claim through normal channels over the past two years… and I didn’t receive answers I was looking for or even a courtesy call back. Being able to talk with someone (virtually) in person during this event was a fantastic process. The one-on-one interaction is so much better when dealing with complex issues.”
This innovative partnership between VA, the states, County Veteran Service Officers, Community Veteran Engagement Boards and other community partners continues to improve outcomes for Veterans, family members, caregivers and survivors. Future V-VEACs are planned for Montana (August), California (September), Michigan (October), Texas (November), and Colorado (February 2021). Individual marketing efforts will share information and registration details as each event date approaches.
For more on Veterans Experience, visit https://www.va.gov/ve/.