On Veterans Day, the VA will launch a website which will serve as a one-stop shop for veterans services and benefits. The Veterans Affairs Department says the new website, Vets.gov, will consolidate the approximately 1,000 websites the department presently manages.
Vets.gov is designed to help veterans manage more than 350 benefit programs without having to switch websites, call multiple numbers or file large amounts of redundant paperwork. Tom Allin, the first chief veterans experience officer at the Veterans Affairs Department, says the goal of the new veterans web portal is to provide, "A single unified digital experience that makes it easier for veterans to get the benefits they deserve."
Along with the new website, which is scheduled to launch Veterans Day, the VA also plans to launch a national call center and consolidate "more than 1,000 hotlines" available to veterans now into one single toll-free number.
To create the new veterans benefits website, the VA is integrating more than 200 different databases across the agency in order to gather information related to military service, contract information, demographics and how vets are currently using VA services in order to make sure the agency at every level has the information they need to provide good customer service.
According to Tom Allin, once veterans register, the website will automatically know their eligibility levels for different programs and will tailor their experience using that information. The website will also notify the veteran of various programs they are eligible for but are not using.
"The goal will be that veterans will eventually be able to get everything taken care of online with a single sign on. They will be able to add a dependent, change their address, schedule an appointment or check on their claim status and get everything done online in a seamless way versus what they are doing today across multiple websites," Allin said.
The national call center will be the first stop for veterans who do not know exactly whom to call. As Allin noted, many of VA’s facilities’ phone numbers are hard to find, even through Google searches. The new 800-number will solve these problems for veterans.
Once the new veterans national call center opens, it will be the main number that veterans will call for information about VA benefits and services. Allin said the goal will be for phone representatives would to answer questions on the spot or transfer questions they can not answer to subject-matter experts.
A big change is that veterans will not longer have to hang up and call a new number for answers. Instead, they will be transferred while on the phone.
Presently, there is time-frame for the launch of this new national call center.
Comments will be approved before showing up.