Vets.gov empowers veterans to track VA compensation
This past spring a web tool that enables veterans to track their appeals in real time was launched, and the Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Digital Service want to ensure stakeholders are aware of the landmark technology and the accessibility it provides.
“You can pull up Vets.gov on a phone, [and] any computer,” explained Chris Given, the tool’s product lead at USDS who provided veterans a firsthand look into the capabilities via a Facebook live with DAV.
Claimants can log in using their eBenefits DS logon, My HealtheVet or ID.me. A two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security for users accessing their personal information on these mobile sites, according to Given.
Veterans can now use Vets.gov to see the current status of any and all appeals, including upcoming hearings. Past actions on the appeal are also available.
Vets.gov outlines what happens next in the appeals process and provides a time estimation for claimants. Veterans can actually see where they are in in the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket line. The tool enables claimants to visualize the appeal and the review process.
“Veterans of course want to be kept up to date on the current status of their appeals,” explained Deputy National Service Director for Training Scott Hope, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “Vets.gov put veterans in the driver’s seat and enables them to personally access a detailed status of their appeal 24/7.”
“The key piece of information is we don’t remove anyone from the line until their appeal is all finished and done,” added Given. “As long as you’re waiting in line, that’s going to continue to move forward until you’re at the front.”
The tool was rolled out to first provide oversight of appeals, addressing the backlog which has climbed to over 470,000. With this new tool, veterans can see their place on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket, including the number of appeals that are ahead of them.
“This is real transparency for veterans with pending appeals,” said Hope. “It may be difficult to hear that there are 68,989 appeals being reviewed before yours, but Vets.gov gives claimants an honest insight into what to expect in the process.”
“Our vision is that there should be a single place to start for all of the tasks you want to do, to check your claim or appeal [and] get healthcare through VA,” said Given. “So the notion is that this [Vets.gov] is your starting point.
“There are a lot more veterans out there, DAV members particularly, who have pending appeals and we’d love to get them looking at this tool and tell us what they think about it.”