Huntington regional office holds VA’s first virtual claims clinic


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VA has fifty-six regional benefits offices – or ROs – located throughout the country. All states have at least one, and a few states have more to handle larger populations. As you may already know, VA ROs periodically hold town hall meetings and claims clinics. These interactive events provide Veterans, dependents and survivors the chance to ask benefits questions and work one-on-one with RO staff about their claims cases and VA benefits. They also give RO management a chance to take feedback from the communities they serve.

MOH framed flag

Veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams’ flag on display at the Martinsburg VAMC

But one challenge that many ROs have is that they service large geographical areas that may make participation inconvenient for everyone interested. For the RO, long distance traveling is not always available, and it can take employees out of their offices for extra days, cut into budget allotments, or cause logistical problems and security concerns. And for Veterans, given West Virginia’s rural and mountainous nature, travel is notoriously difficult and time consuming.

So the Huntington RO came up with a solution. Why not conduct a virtual claims clinic?

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Huntington RO and Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) did just that. Staff from the VAMC welcomed and took information from Veterans and family members who came to the event. The attendees were then moved into private offices where they were virtually linked to staff at the Huntington RO, using Jabber cameras and secure Microsoft Lync software. The VAMC and RO staff worked together to initiate claims, check the status of claims, answer any and all questions related to all VA programs and transmitted documents to the RO. It was a one-stop shop for the 57 Veterans and family members who received assistance with benefits claims during the seven-hour event.

VSR working claim virtually

A Veteran working on his case virtually with a VSR from the Huntington RO.

Claims clinics are a great opportunity to initiate or inquire about a claim. Many ROs periodically host claims clinics and similar events. To locate an event in your area you can do one of the following:

  1. Follow VBA on Facebook and Twitter; we post details about the events in advance of the event
  2. All of our ROs have a designated webpage; this map will link you to the one in your state
  3. Contact your local RO and inquire about upcoming events

Following the success of this model, we hope to introduce more virtual events when and where possible. But you don’t need to wait for an event to ask questions. All ROs also have public contact personnel who can assist you with your questions during normal operating hours. And as always–you can and should visit an accredited Veterans Service Officer who can also assist you!

Author

Peter Granato

Peter Granato is an Army Veteran who served in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. He’s currently a social media administrator for the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Comments

  1. Perry    

    This is a great idea, and it is particularly applicable to those Veterans who are disabled and live in remote areas. Not everyone can travel to an event to learn about benefits, so making use of technology in this way can help some people step forward. Hopefully there will be more virtual events that bring information to the people.

  2. Keith Huddleston    

    I filed a claim with the VA a little over a year an half. I received a letter from the VA telling me they have a new claim process and I need to re-submit my claim. Should my original claim have been processed based on the paperwork at the time? Any help and guidance would be appreciated.

  3. John McMullen    

    from the Army I have filed two clamis I have not herd from neithey one
    I need my teeth fixed.. Matbe one of these years they will have a free vetrans clinic
    in Phoenix and I can get my teeth fixed !

  4. Jorge Lopez-Rodriguez    

    I would like the VA to assist Veterans Like myself who served on the Island of Okinawa. There has been evidence presented to the VA that Agent Orange was present and used Extensively on the Island and many where exposed. I presently have Prostate Cancer and Diabetes Type II and many other conditions related to my exposure and service on the Island. The
    VA and other DOD & Government agencies have denied that any chemicals where ever on the Island, but the truth is coming
    out now and they do not want to compensate does Veterans that served and dedicated their lives to the Military like Myself
    21 years. I hope and pray that someday soon they will compensate us for our service like every other Veteran.

  5. Jeffrey Michael Knight    

    In 2008 I was considered 100% disabled by California State and the VA requirements. Yet I did not receive the 100% status until 2015. Between these years I had to use up my entire savings and retirement funds to remain alive. During those years I had to pay out of pocket expenses for additional medical related items the VA refused to provide for me. Should I contact outside attorneys and sue the government for reimbursement of those back earnings I should have been receiving from the government but didn’t? Is the VA going to present me with those monies I was entitled to but not received? Please respond to this message.

  6. Stanley A James    

    I have a claim pending. Could u check on this for me please?

  7. Darrell Myers    

    Nice, but, sorry, I have a problem with the VA or VA RO doing claims without a VSO service officer present. We who work with veterans who have submitted claims written by the VA have had problems and no representation. They need to have that advocate representing them.

  8. PAUL BACH SR    

    I served in nam for over a year on the Siagon river and the interviewer was nice enough to call me a ground pounder number one that was way wrong I may have religion in me but I can’t walk on water I was in a way assigned to the navy while I was over there I was a senior crane operator attached to the army my unit was reactivated from wwII and sent over seas Well that all for now good by

Comments are closed.