It is imperative to instruct our soldiers coming home on their benefits and how to acquire them. For those with post-traumatic stress, it may not surface immediately and once our men and women suffer it more acutely, it may be a greater struggle to find out how to get the care they need. This initiative should help streamline the VA enrollment and care process hopefully.
New Online Enrollment Application Available for Servicemembers To Be Introduced at Demobilization Sites Nationwide
WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2012) – The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with the First Army at Camp Shelby, Miss., to launch a streamlined version of its online application for VA health benefits (VA Form 1010EZ) for Servicemembers returning from deployment. VA will introduce it at demobilization sites nationwide by early spring 2012.
“This online application demonstrates VA’s commitment to work with the Department of Defense to make it easier for Servicemembers to get the care they earned by their service,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The new, online system noticeably reduces the paperwork and reduces a 10-day process to three days.” The application is used to enroll in the VA health care system, which has more than 1,000 sites of care across the country.
Enrollment for VA health care is done as part of a Servicemember’s demobilization. The online form allows the application to be completed during a regularly scheduled briefing for all Servicemembers on VA benefits. Quick enrollment is important for returning troops because recently discharged combat Veterans are eligible for five years of cost-free care and medications for conditions potentially related to combat service. The new application was piloted as part of the demobilization process at Camp Shelby.
Based on the results, VA plans to collaborate with DoD to offer this online application at all 61 demobilization sites nationally. For more information, Servicemembers may contact VA at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) or visit VA’s health eligibility website at www.va.gov/healthbenefits.