From the Field Staff
By Ed Eckroth
eBenefits Improves VA Claims Processing
VA is working to make applying for benefits an easier and faster process through an initiative known as eBenefits. Although paper documentation will still be accepted, electronic submissions will result in quicker and more efficient responses for both veterans and the services officers who represent them.
It is becoming more important for veterans to obtain an eBenefits account, which allows them to submit their own claims or work with a Veterans Service Organization that can submit claims and all needed evidence electronically on their behalf. BVA’s Service Officers work with veterans on their claims in this way. The claims are dated from the time they are submitted. This eliminates “lost in the mail” problems. Once submitted, veterans can check on their claim or appeal status easily without waiting on the phone for hours to talk with someone via the VA toll free number.
Veterans with computer access can secure an eBenefits account by visiting the following webpage: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal
. Veterans without computer access may apply for an account by calling toll free 800-827-1000.
There are two levels of access: Level 1 and Level 2. The basic access, or Level 1, allows veterans to access only the information they have provided. Level 2 allows them to access VA and DoD records, obtain a copy of their military records such as the DD-214, apply for claims, and check the status of such claims. Education benefits and insurance information are also linked into the eBenefits system along with applications for changes in direct deposit and the requesting of Certificates of Eligibility for VA loans. An abundance of informational topics can also be accessed and researched.
The Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration have joined forces to train staff within VA Medical Centers to better assist veterans as they apply for Level 1 and 2 eBenefits and secure their personal “My HealtheVet” accounts.
Please speak with the “My HealtheVet” staff at your facility to become enrolled with eBenefits. BVA recommends enrollment for all veterans. We also recommend that our blinded veterans speak with a Computer Access Training instructor at the nearest BRC to express interest in being trained to use eBenefits.