We know that interacting with VA can sometimes be complicated and frustrating. That’s why VA is working to modernize our online tools as quickly as possible, using direct feedback from Veterans, caretakers and dependents. Already, VA has made improvements to our digital tools that make it easier than ever before to access VA care and services online. Veterans can expect many more improvements to come over the next year as VA pursues an ambitious modernization plan.
Here are some recent improvements that Veterans can take advantage of now:
- Veterans not currently enrolled in VA health care can apply online using a simple, mobile-friendly application. Already, over 275,000 applications have been submitted using this tool.
- Existing VA patients can now schedule appointments online for primary care, audiology, optometry, and outpatient mental health at over 100 participating medical centers across the country.
- VA patients can also now message their health care team or refill a prescription from their smartphone.
- We’ve completely rebuilt the way Veterans, Servicemembers, and their dependents apply for education, pension and burial benefits, making accessing these benefits easier than ever before.
- The GI Bill Comparison tool helps Veterans learn about education programs and compare benefits by school. Veterans can also check the status of their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and access a statement of benefits to verify eligibility with their school.
- We have created a streamlined way for Veterans to check the status of their claims and appeals in one place. Veterans can use this tool today and thanks to the support of Congress, we’ll be making even more improvements in the Appeals process over the coming 18 months.
We’re working every day to create better online experiences to help Veterans access their benefits and VA’s services. Please give these recently improved tools a try – and let us know what you think. We are looking for Veterans, caretakers, and dependents to participate in 45-minute feedback sessions, which can be done in person or remotely, to help us continue to improve VA’s online tools. As a thank you, participants will receive a $25 thank you gift for their time. If you would like to help, please tell us how to contact you or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Alex Loehr is the deputy chief technology officer for VA.