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Technology eases veterans' access to health, benefits

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs officials are launching a multi-year initiative called Veterans Relationship Management, or 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 programmers collaborated with those in 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,, 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 officials are 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. The pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans with limited income, and who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older.

For additional information, go to or call VA’s toll free benefits number at 1-800-827-1000.