FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2000VA Applications Go Online
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Veterans can now apply for benefits and health care online with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Two new systems will allow veterans quick, easy and secure access to apply for compensation, pension, rehabilitation benefits and health care.
"This is the first step toward an electronic VA," said Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel W. Gober. "We will use the best in the business world and the latest in the high technology sector to deliver world-class benefits and care to veterans. That's a promise."
To apply for health care, veterans can fill out and submit an Internet-based 10-10 EZ application available today for the first time nationwide. Initially tested at 30 VA facilities, the 10-10 EZ is automatically e-mailed to the VA health care facility selected by the veteran. VA employees register the data, print the form and mail it back to the veteran for signature. Veterans can also print out the completed form and mail it to a VA health care facility themselves.
"Veterans On Line Applications" (VONAPP) is designed for veterans to apply for compensation, pension, and vocational rehabilitation benefits through the Internet. Completed applications are sent electronically to the veteran's local VA office. Processing begins right away and veterans receive a response letting them know the status of their applications.
"Of course, security is of paramount importance," said Gober. "These forms are individually encrypted, ensuring the privacy of veterans' personal data. This is part of VA's approach to department-wide security planning and management."
Later this year, VA plans to offer education applications on the Internet. Currently, veterans attending school under the Montgomery GI Bill can make their monthly certification of enrollment at http://www.gibill.va.gov.
Along with 10-10 EZ and VONAPP, VA has redesigned its Web page. "When veterans access www.va.gov, there will be no doubt that the focus and content reflects the department's commitment to veterans," said Gober. "The new design makes it easy to find information, as well as online applications."
VA aims to eventually put all its health care and benefits applications online. However veterans are not required to apply online and can continue to use paper applications. To download other VA applications see: http://www.va.gov/forms.
"Online applications, bar coding for medications, computerized record systems, telemedicine and in the near future -- Smart Cards -- are all examples of VA developing information technology on par, and often ahead of, the rest of the country," said Gober. "I'm really excited about what technology can do to allow us to do a better job in caring for the nation's veterans."
To access Internet applications: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/