Tuesday, September 21, 2010

VA Improving Veterans' Access to Health and Benefits Information

21st Century Technology Will Improve Service

WASHINGTON  (September 21, 2010)- The Department of Veterans Affairs is
launching a multi-year initiative called Veterans Relationship
Management (VRM) that will greatly improve Veterans' access to health
care and benefits information.

"VRM will transform Veterans' interactions with VA by using innovative
21st century technologies," said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.
"Veterans will have a better experience when they contact VA for
assistance, and our employees will be able to quickly convey accurate,
up-to-date information through call centers and the Internet."

Ultimately, Veterans will find enhanced self-service capabilities, and
VA employees will have the best tools to serve Veterans, their families
and survivors better.

By the end of 2010, VRM will deliver improved telephone services to
enable Veterans to reach a call center agent faster.  Recording and
review of calls will ensure the quality of services provided to
Veterans. To help guarantee success, VRM enhancements will be rolled out
in six-month increments.

An important component of VRM is the Internet site, which puts the
Veteran in the driver's seat for information.  VA collaborated with the
Department of Defense to provide a single sign-on capability for both
Servicemembers and Veterans.  Single sign-on will quickly establish an
individual's identity and allow that person to complete transactions
without having to re-enter information.

Self-service access through the Internet site (www.ebenefits.va.gov) is
already available in some benefit areas, including military personnel
records, VA home loan eligibility certificates, and status information
on compensation and pension claims.

VRM is just one of the many initiatives VA is launching to help Veterans
get timely access to health care and benefits.

VA provides tax-free compensation, pension, education, loan guaranty,
vocational rehabilitation, employment and insurance benefits to eligible
Veterans, their families and survivors through 57 VA regional offices.

Disability compensation is paid to a Veteran for disabilities that are a
result of -- or made worse by -- injuries or diseases that happened
while on active duty, active military, naval or air service.  Pension is
a benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited income, and who are
permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older.

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