VA launches welcome kit to guide Veterans to the benefits and services they’ve earned

This is where Veterans should start.


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VA’s onboarding process can be overwhelming at times. Veterans who have visited a VA outreach booth, VA eligibility office, or have gone through a Transition Assistance Program know that VA has no shortage of technical handouts, benefits books and materials. But, even with all of these resources, Veterans are telling us “Where do I start?”

Now, VA can point all Veterans to the VA Welcome Kit.  Click on the button below to check it out.

VA Welcome Kit

No matter where you are in life, the new welcome kit will help you use the VA benefits and services you have earned. In addition to step-by-step enrollment instructions, the kit also lists points of contact for dozens of VA program offices.

VA Welcome Kit Services

“The welcome kit is so simple, it’s the way everything needs to work in VA,” said VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin.

The kit is now available on Vets.gov and will soon be sent to all separating service members as part of VA’s existing welcome home process.

The Veterans Experience Office created the kit using human-centered design principles, including the feedback of more than 150 Veterans throughout the country. The guide will continue to be updated based on additional feedback and information.

The kit was distributed and warmly received at the Student Veterans of America conference in San Antonio, Texas. Veterans commented, “I wish I had this when I got out” and “I’ve never seen something from VA like this.”

While the VA kit does not provide all of the technical information on VA’s programs included in the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors handbook, it does provide a summary and the steps required to enroll in VA services.

Download the kit, print it out and share it and please give us your feedback on it!

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. Aretta Gottke    

    Dear Mr. Haduk,

    On the initial review of this kit, I wanted to let you know how much I and other veterans will appreciate a more streamlined approach to Veteran Benefits. I will review all aspects of the kit, provide you with expert feedback and share it with veterans populations. Thank you for your service to our nation and veterans. We appreciate the efforts you and your team brought forth. We hope to see more significant changes within the VHA and VBA Systems to help improve the lives of veterans.
    Respectfully,

    Aretta Gottke, Chairwoman, Greater Los Angeles, Veterans Administration,
    Woman Veteran Patient Advisory Council

  2. John p. Wobst    

    For us older vets that are computer illiterate, is there something in print we can get?

  3. David Brimmer    

    Wow! This is great!

    Perhaps we can develop an editable PDF that each VAMC can customize with local contacts and resources? That would take this initiative to the next level.

    I love VA and where we are heading!

    Dave Brimmer, MS
    VANJHCS

  4. William Lusher JR    

    This is fantastic. Where is my help? I’m told I can’t get VA coverage like I need because nothing I have is service related although I have the proof. But I can’t be approved for service related issues with out being seen properly.

    1. Johnnie Taylor Jr    

      First, start with the VA Registration Office where you want care. Have your DD214, and if you DD214 needs updating ask to speak with a VSO at your facility. As last resort ask for guidance/assistance from your Patient Advocates.

  5. WILLIE HARRISON    

    This is another government BS, You guys are saying that you are not affiliated with the VA and the it depends on the lender whether the borrower credit comply with their rules, Then in the hell would someone need you? How many Vets do you all really know that has good to perfect credit? Us Vets go out and fight these wars that the government get into and come home and can’t even get a job worth a damn, much less a house. This BS and so are you all.

  6. Teresa S Alvarez    

    As the friend of an elderly VA member,
    The idea of helping veterans is NOT to give a map of the maze. Helping vets is coordinating services through case management, so there are very few turns in the path to a complete care plan. Get more MSWs, updated IT, data management that include checks on housing conditions.

    I have a math degree and got lost even in getting his address changed-the form had to be dropped off at the right office, on the right form, while the office was open. He only remembers date and time of appointments.

    If the VA truly wants to help, the VA needs to do all the heavy lifting – the vets have done their part already.

  7. Rita Bhatia    

    Good Morning,

    Just a quick note to inquire if you will be having a Kit for RED COAT AMBASSADOR TRAINING? What kind of training will you be giving? I am NOT a Veteran so cannot get a JOB at the VA but I would like to Volunteer.

    Thanks,Rita

  8. Jill Root    

    This is all good IF the VA staff know how to comply with processes or even know what the processes are themselves. I was hung up in THREE times trying to notify VA that my veteran husband was admitted to a non-VA hospital after an ER. I called the number on the back of his VA Choice card that specifically said to call if admitted to non-VA facility. The first VA staff I spoke with was rude and defiant and hung up on me. The next two attempts resulted in getting hung up on simply because they did not know how to operate phone system. I ended up getting another number to call that was not operational. Zero progress after two hours.

  9. William Roland Stott    

    I have tried signing up for a VA card a couple of times. I was drafted and served 2 years active with an honorable discharge. I leave out the financial information for myself and my wife.It should not be necessary information to receive a card and get a rating based on withholding of financial information. Nobody asked me how much money I had when I was conscripted and I was not married at the time of service.

  10. Albert J. Brignac, jr    

    Well, my service connected disability along with surgeries and rehab, makes it difficult to move around and i’m unable to work I’ve been denied AGAIN for percentage and other deserving benefits.

  11. Susan McKee    

    My son was in the Air Force for 6 years in mid 80’s and he went to VA to get VA id card and was told he makes to much money, ( What does that have to do with it ).

  12. William R. King    

    Subject: Veterans Disability Claims Backlog?

    I am a USMC veteran, having served from 1954-1957 and am eligible for Korean War benefits.
    I served at Camp LeJeune, NC from 1955-1956, during the period of the “Camp LeJeune Water Contamination” issue.
    In 2016 I was diagnosed and treated (private physician) for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is a “presumptive qualifier” for disability compensation.
    On October 6, 2016 I met with the VSO at the Katy, TX VA facility, who confirmed that I was eligible for compensation payments for the Lymphoma. At that time (October 6, 2016), the VSO filed a claim in my behalf. About mid-year 2017, (after extensive testing at the Houston VA) I was advised that my claim would be finalized by December 2017.
    As of Feb. 14, 2018, my claim remains pending!!!
    My question…… with the VA’s current efforts to clear the “backlog” of claims, wouldn’t the people “in charge” at the VA feel that my claim, still pending for some 500 days, should be handled in a more efficient manner?

    Thanks for your prompt advice.
    Sgt. William R. King, USMC

    1. Darryl Eubanks    

      Sgt. King,
      500 days is a very long time for what should be a simple claim. My question: Did the VSO with your help submit a Fully Developed Claim (FDC)? If it was did you or someone on you behalf submit additional information after the FDC was submitted? Finally, I noticed that in some part of 2016 the Camp LeJeune Water Contamination issue was only a proposed issue. I don’t believe the issue was finalized until 2017. Nevertheless, in my mind anything over 180 days from the date the last piece of evidence that was submitted to the VA is too long.

    2. Darryl Eubanks    

      Anyone on this blog who is complaining about the impossed financial barrier to the VA Healthcare System should stop complaining on this site and call your Congressional Representatives! These are the knuckleheads (most of whom has not served a day in the military) that make these laws. As usual they say, and many of us cheer with approval when they say “cut the budget”. What they don’t tell you is they do so on the backs of those who serve. Solution: VOTE THEIR REARS OUT OF OFFICE! In the words of the great American Fannie Lou Hamer: “You can pray until you faint! But if YOU don’t get up and DO something GOD’s not going to put it in YOUR lap”!

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