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TMCNet:  DOD, VA Improve Online Access to Benefits Information

[January 28, 2013]

DOD, VA Improve Online Access to Benefits Information

Jan 28, 2013 (DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- DOD, VA Improve Online Access to Benefits Information From a Department of Veterans Affairs News Release WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2013 - The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have released improvements to the functionality of eBenefits, a joint, self-service Web portal that provides registered users with secure online information and access to a variety of benefits resources for service members and veterans.

"The increasing capabilities of eBenefits give veterans and service members greater flexibility in securing the information they are looking for," said Allison A. Hickey, the undersecretary of veterans affairs for benefits.

The latest release, eBenefits 4.3, allows for easy navigation of the online disability compensation claim submission process using interview-style questions and drop-down menus similar to tax-preparation software, instead of a traditional fill-in-the-blank form. The latest release also pre-populates the application with information from a veteran's record in VA's secure database.

Veterans also can view processing times for each phase of their claim.

Other site improvements include a tool to help in determining if a veteran is eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits, a calculator for military reservists to determine retirement benefits, and a search function that identifies a claimant's appointed veterans service representative, with links to Google Maps indicating the location of their nearest representative's office.

Service members and veterans also can access records such as Post-9/11 GI Bill enrollment status, VA payment history and DOD TRICARE health insurance status.

To access eBenefits, veterans and service members must obtain a DOD Self-Service Logon, which provides access to several benefits resources using a single username and password. The service is free and may be obtained in person at a VA Regional Office, DOD ID Card station or online at http: //www.ebenefits.va.gov.

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