Vets Find Help at D.C. Health and Fitness Expo

Veterans Benefits Administration employee Jenee Bailey helps Army Veteran Janice Pavlik sign up for the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo Jan. 11.

Army Veteran Janice Pavlik wanted to sign up for eBenefits for more than a year, but had several questions that kept her from following through with the process. She knew keeping tabs on her benefits would be easier with the online platform — she just couldn’t navigate the initials steps to sign in. This time, she was able to get an account.

Pavlik received that personal assistance when she attended this year’s NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo Jan. 11 at the Washington Convention Center in D.C. There she met Veterans Benefits Administration representatives that walked her through the eBenefits sign up.

“Sometimes it’s hard for Veterans if they don’t understand a particular portion of the registration, or they have limited access to a computer,” said VBA employee Jenee Bailey. “We try to give as many Veterans as possible an opportunity to try out eBenefits by going out to events and answering any questions they have.”

The eBenefits web portal is a tool Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and caregivers can use to apply for and monitor their benefits. It is the easiest and most efficient way to take control of their interaction with VA and make sure they’re accessing the benefits they deserve.

However, not everyone eligible for this resource is enrolled, and sometimes just getting individual attention can help.

“It’s not that I’m computer illiterate, I just needed more one-on-one guidance. They were a great help,” the former Warrant Officer said after finally registering with a VBA computer stationed at the Military Matters section of the expo. “They sat with me and answered all of my questions. I’m glad they were here today.”

Bailey, a VBA Homeless Program Coordinator out of the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center, was one of several employees who spent hours fielding questions about benefits and services provided to Veterans during the weekend-long expo.

She considered events like the expo an opportunity to help and reach out to Vets in the community, but signing them up for eBenefits is especially gratifying to her.

“I enjoy working face-to-face with Veterans,” Bailey said after assisting another Veteran with the sign up process. “They can do so much once they enroll, like starting a claim, uploading documents, and searching their medical history. It really does help them take control of their relationship with VA.”

Watch this video to see how eBenefits can help you navigate your benefits:


Reynaldo Leal

- Reynaldo Leal recently joined the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System as the public affairs officer. He is a proud Marine Corps Veteran who deployed to the Al Anbar Province with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment in 2004 and 2006. He also took part in some of the heaviest fighting during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004. Before coming to Continental South District he worked on the VA's Digital Media Engagement team and was the State Public Affairs Specialist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is glad to be back home in his native South Texas, and looks forward to working for his fellow Veterans. He also looks forward to introducing his two sons to all the great fishing and outdoor opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley.


  1. James Darby    

    Why doesn’t the VA just snail mail all of us who are already receiving benefits the instructions for getting an account?

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