Are You Using eBenefits Yet?



There are now two million Veterans and service members using the online tool eBenefits to access information about their military and Veteran benefits. 

This month, we launched even more features, allowing users to:

  • Track compensation and pension claims throughout the claims process with processing times now displayed for each phase of an open claim
  • View your current Veterans service representative, search for all representatives in your area and use Google Maps to find the nearest Veterans service representative’s office
  • Determine retirement benefits with a new benefits calculator for Reservists

eBenefits now has 45 self-service features that give users instant access to benefits information and the ability to download copies of their official VA and military correspondence.  Some of the new and most popular features are:

  • Single sign on from eBenefits to Tricare Online and My HealtheVet
  • Quick transfer of Post-9/11 education benefits for eligible service members
  • Update direct deposit information
  • Download a VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility
  • Request official military personnel file
  • Download VA letters
  • Check the status of a Veteran’s disability claim and appeal

To access all of the eBenefits features you need a free premium account, which gives you the highest level of access to eBenefits (including checking a claim status online). This upgrade requires identity verification that can now be done online using our new “wizard” feature.  Most people will be able to verify their identity by answering a few security questions, or by using their Common Access Card.

Check back as we continue to launch new features, making it easier to access your Veterans and military records online. Please, help us improve the tool by sharing your own thoughts on how to improve eBenefits. We look forward to your comments.

To share information about how to access and use eBenefits with your friends and colleagues, share this factsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

Samantha O’Neil is a communications specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Author

Samantha O'Neil

Comments

  1. Charles Lilly    

    Diagnosed 100% Service Connected Disabled Veteran, with an invisible disease, Schizo Affective Disorder, moderate tremors, diabetis, pulmonary problems for working around asbestos laced Power Plants, coal fire, several Nuclear facilities; Oakridge weapons, Savannah River weapons reduction, and several Reactor Plants under construction, Nuclear Aircraft and nuclear submarines. I never got a dosage exiting any of the facilities or ships. This was my career after I served as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam era.

  2. polly coles    

    Since they started working on the ebenefits, for some reason my account went from a premium account to a basic account. Now I am having problems getting it back to a premium account.

    1. Samantha@VA    

      Sorry for the inconvenience Polly. Give us a call and we’ll see what we can do: 1- 800-827-1000, option 7.

      If you are having trouble upgrading online using the new “Wizard” feature or CAC function, you can also visit a VA regional office or TRICARE service center in person. You can find the closest facility, and all other details on upgrading your account here: https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/footer/help.do?helpTypeValue=ABOUT

    2. william    

      I would like to know what does Pending Decision Approval means and why is my claim just sitting there? If someone took a year to look over all the medical documents I sent in; then, the pushing the button to get me paid should be too difficult. I have this image in my mind; there is some VA employees sitting at their disks pulling out all of their hair because there is just too much work for them to be able to push the button in order to get anyone paid. If it is that hard for who ever to push the button then there has be a better life. I wouldn’t want that job to save my life if I’m the one who is allowing vets to suffer. This got to fit the definition for torture for vets and the VA employees who are having such a hard time pushing the button.

      1. JakkiH    

        eBenefits is a joke when it comes to checking your claims status. “Preparation for Notification” is giving I imagine thousands of vets a false sense of security. How can our federal government be so behind and incompetent when it comes to the basics of communicating accurate information via all means of communication (written, oral and modern technology)? And be comfortable saying, “I don’t know who, what, when, where, why or how?”. They have joined the “Scripted” Customer Service Club. I have received correspondence sent to my congresswoman reference my claim which had her name in every place my name should have been. This may seem small, but it speaks volumes about their professionalism, attention to details, etc. Not a confidence booster.

        1. william    

          I wish I could email someone at my VARO and get an understanding of my claim. When you call the 1-800-827-1000 they give you the general information you get from ebenefit. I just wish the day I went to the Army medical center; the doctor I saw and wrote up my medical record could have sent a message to VA stating I was eligible for compensation and provide the rating for my injuries because of the injuries I got while on duty that day. In that way all VBA has to do is process the payment because all of the hard work would have been done by my doctor as he wrote up my medical record. The doctor has to put in a diagnosis code, so, as he put down the diagnosis code the compensation rating would automatic be placed next to the diagnosis code. Again, once the doctor sends my medical record to VBA electronically all VBA has to is process the payment. Too easy!

      2. john    

        “Pending Decision Approval” is how mine stayed for months. I called, e-mailed, and checked eBenefits. No one could give me an answer as to what that meant or what kind of decision time window I was looking at. Last month, I got a call scheduling me for a C&P Exam on the 585th day from my filing. My NOD was filed in February 2011, my claim was in the status “Pending Decision Approval,” and they had not even started on my claim. I talked with a person (via e-mail) and they said they were just starting to work on claims from 2011. That was a month ago. I hope this helps you.

        1. Tim    

          My status was “Preparation for Notification” for the longest time and today when I checked it has changed back to “Under Review” with an expected completion date of between May-Sep 2013. My claim was started Aug 2011.
          I wonder if this looks good on their bean counting reports to falsely move the status to the end and then throw them back to the beginning. You can’t tell me my claim was at the end and all of a sudden they are relooking at it without sending me anything.
          Does anybody ever get any messages in the Message Center? Mine is always 0. Does this do anything?

  3. Rick    

    There is still plenty of error’s on the site, one example I called on Oct17th to see why on Sept 22nd my claim moved to the prep for notification phase but I havn’t heard anything, to find out i was told vets that had claims sent back for more info were moved to that phase by mistake. After allmost two yr’s of waiting not what you wan’t to hear…

  4. Dan Ryan    

    looing too see what benefits I get if any. Dan

  5. milton schalizki    

    i have nofrom va because they don’t seem to answer my emailst been able to use these benefits because i can’t seem to get any answers .i tried to get a medical card with my picture on it but no answer as of yet and it has been a while.

  6. Stephen D Cunningham    

    I have never used them before.I dont know what they are about really. I have put Valid Clames in only to be denied.Iam a TBIS come ChristmasDay it will be 40 years since my 1 TBI,my 2. 5-25-75, and stil I never recieved any care.Today inside Iam a mess Iam Greatfull to be alivebut the Impact of the Helicopter Crash destroyed the quality of my life.The Mental and Physical Abuse the People in my Squrdron put me through after the Crash they left deep scars I Forgave them but Its har to Forget.Thankyou For All The Good Things Youall Are Doing. Stephen.

    1. Corey    

      The VA System is very damaged, if not broken when people like yourself are “left behind”, by the VA. They have been improving it slowly though.

      I worked on my father’s VA Benefits since 2005 and in 2011 we were finally able to get some of the VA Benefits that were owed to him, which he waited 34 years to get.

      Unfortunately, you have to expect the VA will deny your claim, but they will tell you why in your Ratings Decision. Once you have the “why” of why they denied your claim, you can use that to your benefit by proving with military medical records, statements from your friends, family about your disabilities, that what they say you don’t have, you actually do have.

      You must prove to the VA what the VA calls a “nexus”. A nexus is the connection of your original injury and your current problems you are suffering from because of this injury. You must write a Statement that has your name, case number, and claimed disability and give a brief history of your disability, starting with when and how it happened, provide any military medical records that prove the accident happened and your medical treatment for it, any military medical records for any treatment after the initial date of injury until the present day.

      I would suggest going to a VA Regional Center and explaining this to them and if it has been a year or longer since your last compensation exam, make a request to the VA Employee to schedule you for compensation exam.

      Let them know it has been 40 years, this puts you into a special category and they can put a special team on your case to process your claim in months rather than years, also if you are over 75, this also puts you into a special category.

      Have your statement about your claim and all of your military medical records and dd-214 ready to hand them in a packet. The easier you make it for them, the better and faster results you can expect.

      Also ask if they have a phone number of a specific contact person you can contact to make sure they have everything they need and so you can answer any questions they may have.

      Unfortunately, it is a long process, but with e-benefits, you can submit info. alot easier now, which made it incredibly easier than before it.

      I hope this information helps you and everytime they deny your claim, find out why they did, supply what they call “new and material” evidence to counter-claim their denial, and then check its progress on e-benefits or by calling your contact at the VA or the VA 1-800 number, they can help some too.

      I hope this info. helps you and keep fighting…

  7. Shannon Hogan    

    Here is the issue with the current VA system and why even the eBenefits is not the greatest tool…..at no time on my eBenefits were the dates of my remaining eligibility correct and the VA screwed this up even further by failing to inform me that I had exhausted my benefits. So, in these cases not one of the systems are up to snuff and the VA has made excuse after excuse for long enough. Veterans are second class citizens to the VA and to the government, despite all of the “dog and pony” shows that they put on. When the last VA rep I spoke to on the phone had the audacity to ask me if I felt that I did not benefit from the 36 months I was unaware had been exhausted, I replied; “Well sure, I have benefited….I have a 2 year degree and spent 90% of the time waiting for the VA to pay my school, was charged late fees, was forced to pay back the VA for an apparent over payment or two when I never received those payments, and now I am stuck in the middle of our school’s conversion to semesters, and two semesters away from completing my Bachelors, oh and I am now $40,000 in debt for the student loans that I had to take out to compensate for the VA’s repeated failures. So, if that is REALLY your questions, then how the hell else would you define benefit?”

    The Post 9/11 is a sham as much as any program that the VA is charged with. Pay the morons at the Regional Offices the big salaries to lose our data, delay the processing and or not even pay the benefits at all, and then take the money back…..ladies and gentlemen……..I give you the Greatest Show in the World……..The VA!

    From the top down…..the VA is a broken wheel that even Congress chooses to ignore and where non-veterans land great jobs, while veterans get hosed. Bravo, VA! You blew it again. Oh, and will someone please tell Debbie Shinall at the University of Cincinnati, that willingly and knowingly refusing to process veterans paperwork so that they do not have to wait an additional 4-6 weeks on top of the VA’s ridiculous time line already, is inexcusable? Who is auditing these schools and their programs? NO ONE! Funny, how when you establish a veteran owned business to do just that how the VA tucks tail and hides behind its mass of ugliness. God forbid we actually expose those who abuse veterans and their benefits in order to earn their over priced salaries or GOD FORBID the VA actually enforce standards that are fined when they are found to be in excess and cause detrimental delays to veterans!

    Have I got the benefit of my 36 months of entitlement? What a stupid…

  8. Tom Fenerty    

    Sorry, this seems like a bad joke to me.
    The information on ‘e benefits’ is incorrect and outdated.
    Somehow I just knew.
    Another waste of money.

  9. Jon    

    I did use eBenefits, until I was booted off due to some security problem. It kept asking me three security questions that apparently I don’t know how to answer, and all three have to be answered correctly, at the same time, to verify.
    So I called the helpdesk, who was kind enough to transfer me to the VA’s 1-800 number, and prvided me with the menu options to get through to eBenefits. I waited, and heard the (dreaded) recording “Thank you for calling the Dept. of VA. We are unable to take your call at this time.”………
    Ebenefits was not designed to help veterans, but to give the appearance that the VA is doing something involving websites. It sucks, it doesn’t help, and it breaks easily.

    1. Corey    

      My father just got the same message, “Thank you for calling the VA, we are unable to help you at this time…”. He found that when they have too many calls to handle at the moment, that is the message you get. So just keep calling until it tells you instead that you have a wait time of x amount of minutes. Worked for him just a few days ago

  10. Robin    

    Although we use ebenefits and remain hopeful it will be useful in tracking my husband’s claim, so far it has served no useful purpose for us. His open disability claim is not in ebenefits. We have heard various reasons cited for this…the most credible one seems to be that it is bc it is a 405 end product. Who can say what is really the case. I only know that for the many people who have claims not showing up…in spite of premium access…we are left only with the call center for status updates. Don’t you think call center call volume would be reduced if this situation were corrected? I can think of no reason why a 405 end product should be so radically different it needs to be segregated from inclusion in the ebenefits feeds…..can you think of one?

    1. Corey    

      My father just got the same message, “Thank you for calling the VA, we are unable to help you at this time…”. He found that when they have too many calls to handle at the moment, that is the message you get. So just keep calling until it tells you instead that you have a wait time of x amount of minutes. Worked for him just a few days ago 🙂

  11. Alfred Lutton    

    Ebenefits is not accurate. It also shows notification of preparation and when I call the 800 number they tell me it was sent back to development stage. Also they tell me that my claim is all messed up and I have gave them everything they need. I was also told by a number of people from the benefits dept not to go into ebenefits. My claim has been there since 2/11

  12. darrell smalls    

    I tried to inquire about a matter and received return message saying, it would take up to five days for a response. However no further correspondence since. What do I do now?

  13. JakkiH    

    How long does it take to verify/approve dependency for school when all information has been provided? Waiting since January 2012.

    How long does it take for 100% Unemployability? When service connected diagnosis/disability, medical records and work history supports it? Service Connected as of October 2010, eBenefits set estimated decision timeline for May 2012.

  14. Jon    

    Samantha,
    you don’t seem to realize that calling the VA’s 1-800 number just doesn’t work. Why would you advise a veteran to call that number? Have you ever called it yourself to try and get a problem with Ebenefits resolved?

    This is the problem, VA employess can just say “Oh it’s all so great, the way we’re helping veterans”, but you really don’t know that the system just doesn’t work. Again, and please feel free to answer here so all veterans can see, have you ever called the 1-800 number to get an issue resolved?

    Bottom line, Ebenefits doesn’t work, and it doesn’t provide accurate or useful information. Why am i blocked from my own account, with my own information?

  15. william    

    Does anyone think there are too many hands and too many people looking at your medical records, and it takes too much time to get the money you legally deserve? The ones who knows more than anyone about your medical condition is the doctor who seen you after you had your injury or illness. So, why can’t the doctors at the VA medical centers and the doctors on the military bases make a decision if you should be compensated or not? that will save a hell of a lot of time.

  16. Paul Moss    

    I have visited ebenifits several times. Unable to get any info. My logon always failes. So much for the Va

  17. fleacircus    

    I make too much money to qualify for any benefits maybe that’s a good thing considering all the problems everyone is posting. They say they care but apparently not so, why even bother trying they don’t seem to even care about our disabled vets even, such a shame!

    1. Yolanda    

      Your income has nothing to do with you qualifying for service-connected compensation. If you are applying for NON-service connected pension, than yes it does.

  18. Yolanda    

    Ebenefits is terrible. I used to work in the va regional office and apparently since I have a sensitive file, it doesnt even show up in ebenefits. But from what I hear from other veterans, it seems as if ebenefits has actually increased call volume to the va hotline because the information is so inaccurate or doesn’t even show up. I will tell you veterans that a huge problem is the employees who work there. There are so many bad employees there who refuse to do their job, and hide behind sick leave and the union which is why they havent been fired. It was sickening for me to continue to see these lazy employees not want to help veterans and after 5 years of working my tail off, I left to go to a different agency. Plus upper management didn’t give a rats about the outbased offices in Florida located in west palm beach and orlando. These offices dont get ANY support from the parent office in St Petersburg; they refused to get more space and hire more people. I dont know what to you tell you gals and guys out there, just keep the faith that eventually your claim will have to come to an end at some point. I too am a veteran, so I know exactly how you feel. My husband’s claim has been pending for almost 1 year and he has yet to receive an initial development letter – just disgusting!!!!

  19. Jon    

    Can someone tell me why my comment is awaiting moderation, whne one posted after it chronoligcally was approved and is posted? I did not say anything rude or innapropriate, just checking the competencly of VA employees. Is that a no-go here?

    Posted on October 25th, 2012 at 12:45 PM:

    “Samantha,
    you don’t seem to realize that calling the VA’s 1-800 number just doesn’t work. Why would you advise a veteran to call that number? Have you ever called it yourself to try and get a problem with Ebenefits resolved?

    This is the problem, VA employess can just say “Oh it’s all so great, the way we’re helping veterans”, but you really don’t know that the system just doesn’t work. Again, and please feel free to answer here so all veterans can see, have you ever called the 1-800 number to get an issue resolved?

    Bottom line, Ebenefits doesn’t work, and it doesn’t provide accurate or useful information. Why am i blocked from my own account, with my own information?”

  20. Thomas Bentley    

    I’ve asked a couple questions about my GI BILL and while I received a notice i’d have an answer shortly, its been two weeks for the first question and it is still not answered. What constitutes a short time?

Comments are closed.