Late last month the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs introduced VA.gov as the new, central online hub for all VA benefits and services. Previously, veterans needed to log in to different sites to access a different departments withing the VA.
Veterans and their families who previously accessed information through the eBenefits portal can log on using their Digital Service (DS) Logon, or can create a new account using ID.me. Acting VA Undersecretary for Benefits, Thomas Murphy states: “VA.gov offers Veterans an enhanced site in terms of usability and security with the implementation of two-factor authentication.” He continues: “The most frequently used features are now readily accessible on one website to include the ability to file a disability claim, check the status of a claim, or change direct deposit and payment information.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs wanted to ensure that users found the site functional, so they worked with U.S. Digital Service to test the site with thousands of veterans before the official launch. The site has been met with mixed reviews, with some users appreciating access to different programs and services from one site, but others have reported difficulty logging in.
The site can be used to learn more about the VA Pension program which helps offset the cost of long-term care for veterans or their surviving spouses. War-time veterans who qualify for this benefit, can receive up to $1,936 per month for single veterans and $2,296 per month for married veterans. A surviving spouse needing care can receive $1,244 per month. These amounts are given a cost-of-living adjustment annually. This benefit, also commonly referred to as “Aid & Attendance”, is means-tested, with monthly income and net worth limits, and a three-year look-back period. An experienced Elder Law Attorney can help veterans qualify for this benefit without making costly errors.