Getting Your Benefits in a Digital World

by Levi Newman on October 5, 2011

 

Veteran Benefits in a Digital WorldIn 1917, when the government first established a guideline for veterans benefits, it took time and a lot of snail mail to find out what benefits you were eligible for, and then an even longer wait to actually receive them. Thankfully, in the digital world we live in today, there are online programs like VONAPP that speed that process up.

VONAPP, or Veterans Online Application, allows for service members and beneficiaries to claim their benefits faster than ever. Using this service, you can apply for benefits like compensation, pension, vocational rehabilitation and employment, or burial benefits. You can also report the status of dependents, file a claim for an increase in your service-connected disability, report a new disability, claim an ancillary benefit, or see if you are eligible for a special monthly pension.

Signing up for this program is both free and relatively easy, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting your account started. VONAPP walks you through the process step-by-step as a first-time user, allowing you to go at your own pace. You can come back to your application at any time or upload any supporting documents to your personal file that you might need.

All you need is a computer and a web browser and you’re on your way to using VONAPP and its related resources. If you don’t happen to have a computer you can also go to a local library or a cyber cafe to use the service, just remember to log out of VONAPP when you’re done!

Using VONAPP isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good idea to explore every opportunity you can to receive your benefits. Give yourself a leg up on getting your benefits faster by taking advantage of online resources like VONAPP.

Note: Do not use VONAPP to submit a previous claim if you’ve already done so on paper and it is still processing. It could potentially hinder that claim.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Potter October 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

I would like VONAPP a lot more if it did one thing. During the process, close to the beginning, it included the Service Organizations and added a 21-22 if they select one. Yes, you can make a 21-22 and attach it like other documentation; however, that probably would happen if a local Service Organization’s Service Officer which understands the system better is the one typing on VONAPP. I believe not including the Service Organization option as bad — it is they who understand the system and will help the veteran get ALL necessary documentation turned in.

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lex crowson October 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm

will va pay for emergency room other than va

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Levi Newman October 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm

You should really talk to a VA Rep about that. That’s a good question.

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Larry Potter October 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm
Muffy Hurda December 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Yes they will as long as you talk to a primary care nurse first and she says you need to be seen within 24 hours

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Jon January 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

If you go to a ER other than the VA and are admitted to the hospital as a result, the VA wil cover it. IF not you might be on your own for the bill. Speaking from experience.

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Richard Salazar October 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I applied for VA Disability benefits due to Ischemic Heart disease and Agent Orange … it’s been a year, this month. Haven’t heard a peep from the VA in over 6-months. I would like to learn the ‘status’ of my claim?

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Levi Newman October 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

You’re best bet is to call VA yourself and get a direct answer on where the paperwork is. There are millions of veterans with claims so the system is pretty backed up.

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Charles Cauthen October 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

Richard Salazar, your best bet is to use iris system, give your claims # and Regional Claims location. They will get back to you eventually. Calling the VA is a waste of time.It takes about a year for ISD claims.

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scarlet October 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

my brother served 4 yrs in the navy in the early 60’s honorable discharge. the va has turned now his benefits. what the hell is going on. i know others who went awol dishonorable discharge who is getting va benefits. What’s wrong with this picture. who do i contact about this? why is our government turning their backs on our veterans? my brother served his country with pride and now who is making the decisions to deny what these veterans have coming….Please help.

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E. Hickman October 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

The VA will pay for an ER Visit if it is a real emergency. I have had to use it a couple of times. Once the CBOC actually sent me there rather than a 79 mile trip to the VA Hosp.

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E. Hickman October 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

Richard! If you have not heard anything in over 6mos call them. Yes they are backed up but the fast track sys is designed to get you and answer quicker on OA. I got my approved in 4 mos. Only 10% which is a joke. I am appealing. Good Luck and CALL Call Call.

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E. Hickman October 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

Scarlet. Tell your brother to go to the local Veterans Service Officer and appeal. It takes time but they are the pros at this. Good luck.

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Benjamin Montgomery October 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Patience is a virtue extraordinaire when dealing with pending benefit claims. Yes, they are backed up, but sometimes the evidence is indisputable and right in front of their faces and still, you wait. I have 60% S/C and it’s taken 5 years. My claim has been “pending” for over a year and I’m told that because of the increase in claims, it may be another year and a half before my file is opened again. It’s time to seek other alternatives. It’s time to do what’s right.

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JAMES HULL November 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

LOOKING TO SEE IF I QUALIFY

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Levi Newman November 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

James you’ll have to contact a local VA Representative in your area to see what benefits you are eligible for.

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howard jackson December 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

i have a claim in that has been in the ststem for a year and even got my congress man involved and still waiting, the whole process is a big joke,we wait while criminals get things everday ,our benifits get cut while nothing is taking from them,who has done more for our cointry vets or criminals,they eat steak while we eat lunch meat,they get better health care then we do ,we pay for our homes while they live free of cost. please help me.

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