‘Where to start?’ – The VA Welcome Kit

A Guide to the Benefits and Services Earned



DOWNLOAD THE VA WELCOME KIT

Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors know that VA has no shortage of technical handouts, benefits books and informational materials. Even with all these resources, Veterans ask, “Where do I start?”

Whether a Veteran is just getting out of the service or hung up the uniform years ago, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide them to the benefits and services they earned.

No matter where in life they might be, the VA welcome kit will help Veterans navigate VA. Veterans can understand the process and their responsibilities, and get started using the benefits promised by a grateful nation.

In addition to a broad overview of services VA offers; this guide contains:

  • A map of the benefits and resources available at specific moments in your journey,
  • Contact information for each of VA’s programs,
  • Checklists to ensure you gather the right documents, forms and information needed,
  • Quick start guides so that you hit the ground running with your benefits.

The kit is available for download or print on VA.gov.

The Veterans Experience Office created the kit using human-centered design principles, including feedback from more than 150 Veterans throughout the country. VEO continually updates the guide based on additional feedback and information.

While the welcome 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.

Please visit VA.gov to download or print a VA Welcome Kit, and feel free to share this guide with friends and family who might also need help with their benefits.

Author

Steven Clipp

Steve Clipp joined VA in 2017 with the White House/VA Hotline and is currently on detail as a communications specialist with the Veteran Experience Office. Steve, a Navy Veteran, served as an electronics technician in Fighter Squadron 31 (VF 31-F/14s) on-board the USS Abraham Lincoln. Using the GI Bill, he graduated from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Comments

  1. Judy c hollins    

    My husband was in Army. He was murdered I. 2016. He wa getting a pension from VA. Because he did die from a service connected disability I am not eligible for benefits. I looked over his va records a I Saw that he went to the va on ocassions for depression that never was documented for his compensation. He truly had anger issues. My case is on appeal now and I have been waiting 2 years to hear from. Why is the va so slow and why is it so hard for me to get doc benefits. I am 65 year of age. My spouse needed to be 100 percent disabled but he was 40 percent. With the ptsd that went unnoticed by the va and sleep apnea and his other service connected disabilities he show have been rated 100 percent. Now I am here to suffer from financial problems.

    1. J Graves    

      You won’t get any benefits unless he was rated at 100%. and how was he murdered if was service connected?

  2. Alexa Lee Black    

    I live on Redding, CA. As a veteran I qualify for many discounts, but I can’t get a veterans picture ID. The VA Clinic will only give picture ID’s to their patients. The local Veterans Affairs does not issue picture IDs. How do I get a Veterans picture ID?

    1. Naomi Stroud-Richardson    

      I would also like to know how to get an veteran identification card with out being a patient or retired?

    2. Aaron T Hoyt    

      Alexa (and Naomi), The VA will issue a Veteran ID Card even if you’re not a healthcare patient. You can apply online here: https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/vic/

      You’ll have to have a DS-Login, and that may take some time, but it’s worth it.

  3. Stephanie    

    How can I get a schedule A letter for job application through usajobs? My VA doesn’t even know what the letter is. ThNk you for your help.

    1. Aaron T Hoyt    

      There’s a whole page of self-serve correspondence for you – milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil – You can get proof of service, and disability rating letters, I would think if it’s something the DMDC would generate, it’d be in the same area (it wasn’t an option for me, but only the options I’m eligible for are offered – your menu is likely different than mine).

  4. Richard Nichols    

    Contact the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) at 877-222-8387, and request that your address be updated for Residential as well as Permanent Mailing Address. Also ask that the affiliated Facility VAMC be checked to make sure it reflects the Charlie Norwood VAMC. Updates to the Mailing address do not change the Facility you are associated with, and many issues can be corrected by this double check. You may also want to contact the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to make sure your address has been updated there as well. Not all parts of the VA communicate well with each other.

  5. Ronald Lewis    

    Hi, my name is Ronald Lewis, I served in the Air Force.
    Am 65 now, with 8 stints, and have very bad Dental issues. I would very much I appreciate any he!p or information you could share with me.
    When I worked offshore I had Blue Cross Blue shield, Now I am on Medicare LIS .
    Thank You in Advance

    1. Aaron T Hoyt    

      Hi Ronald, it looks as though the Federal “Open Season” is coming up in the next week. You may be eligible for FEDVIP. Here’s the excerpt I found in my most recent TRICARE letter:

      Beginning January 1, 2019, you can participate in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance
      Program (FEDVIP). FEDVIP dental coverage generally applies to those in retired status. Enrollment in
      TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select or TRICARE For Life coverage is required for VEDVIP vision
      coverage. You may choose plans from among 10 dental carriers and 4 vision carriers. Enrollment in
      FEDVIP isn’t automatic. To take advantage of this coverage, you must enroll during the Federal Benefits
      Open Season, which runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday
      of the second full workweek in December. Your coverage will begin the following January 1. Visit
      tricare.benefeds.com for more information and to sign up for notifications about this change.

  6. Robert Lewis Thomas    

    Thanks for all you all do every day!

  7. Vern Steven Saxton    

    While serving with the Marines in Vietnam I was evacuated from the field to the 85th Air Evacuation Unit in Qui Nhehn. From there I was sent to the USH Guam 11/2/1965 and was there until 01/06/1966 and then sent to the USN Hospital Great Lakes form 01/09/1966 until 03/06/1966.

    All of this information was provided to the VA but they have indicated the problem (malaria) is not service related. Would you explain how this is possible. I was in two different hospitals for more than 4 months.

    Thanks,

    Vern Steven Saxton

  8. Donald    

    Why after having been with the Wilmington Delaware VA for many years and very satisfied with. I moved to South Carolina and now am with Charlie Norwood VA does every one here tell me they can’t see my records or it is too much trouble. Doctors don’t have voice mail and don’t answer phone. Secure messages are not always answered. This area has terrible service. How can I get my records submitted for appeal hearing? Thank you.

    1. kristine ingersoll    

      I can answer that one. I left the Phoenix VA and I was told that my records would be available that I did not have to hand carry them when I move to Ohio. Now that I’m with the Cleveland VA they can’t see any of my records. I asked one of the specialist in the admin department and they told me that for whatever reason Phoenix is not connected to the other vieilles. So it’s quite possible the last VA you were with is not connected also. They can get into it if you tell them that you were in the last one then they can look through those records but they don’t just pop up like your regular records do. Does that make sense? Because I’ve had to tell my doctor “no, I had it done in Phoenix” and then they just look it up a different way. Hope that helps have a great day. Thank you for your service.

Comments are closed.