Would You Choose Email Notification From the VA?

post office boxes

by Levi Newman on July 27, 2011

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s oversight and investigations panel, has proposed a new bill: HR 2383.  HR 2383 is a bill that would authorize the VA to send out notifications and other communication to veterans via e-mail instead of via regular postal mail.

With over 895,000 claims pending in the VA system, the instant communication provided by email could dramatically speed up the correspondence process on veterans’ claims.  Johnson, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, believes that taking full advantage of the technology available is vital to any solution to the current overload of claims in the VA system.

Recently, the VA has announced grants for innovative inventions in technology that show promise to speed up and improve the VA system as a whole, but these are all large scale, sweeping changes.  Something as over-looked as email vs. postal mail correspondence is a method which make not only speed up some processes but cut costs so that money normally used on paper, ink, and postage, can be used elsewhere within the system.

Of course, not everyone is keen on the idea of switching solely to email.  This reasonable concern is because many veterans are uncomfortable with computer systems.  Additionally, not everyone has a computer, a fact that can be easily forgotten.  Even further, internet access is not available in all areas, especially in rural areas, where the only possibility of internet is expensive satellite service.  To make sure that no veteran is forced to use a method that are not entire comfortable with, or don’t have access to, the switch to e-mail would be purely optional.

When opting to change to e-mail, all applicable rules, regulations, and rights would stay the same.  Some worry that changing to e-mail might inadvertently cause veterans to waive certain rights, but this is a recognized concern, and any e-mail communication would have to meet the same standards which postal mail communication meets.

Photo thanks to Carl_C under creative commons license on Flickr.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Don C. Booker July 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

Yes!
would prefer eMail to Snail Mail..
Our Postal service is not so hot.. our regular postman Never messes up, not so the guy who fills in for him on days off.
Send our Meds by Fex Ex or whatever..
*edited by admin*
*We removed your address. Because this is a public blog, any reader could see your address. Also, because we are here simply to provide you the best information we can find, but we’re not the VA, we cannot make any official changes to what you receive by mail.*

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Bob Aldrich July 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

I would definitely prefer e-mail notification. I travel a lot and don’t get my mail often.

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Lisa Smith July 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

I would be very much interested in receiving email notifications about upcoming appointments or other things from the VA.

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Ruth A Jones July 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Need Information on Educational Benefits

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Ruth A Jones July 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

send information via e-mail

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SFC. Robert W. Johnson Ret. July 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Great Idea hope it comes about!

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Larry Pate July 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I am a former postal worker and a veteran.
I really like and use the internet but I say continue to use the U.S. Postal Service mail system.

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Larry Pate July 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm

No, It’s not for everyone. Keep using the US Postal Service.

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desertvet91 July 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

It’s not something you completely transition to overnight, months, or perhaps years, as a veteran I support the idea…

Banks and mobile phone carriers, for example, offer the “option” to receive your monthly statements or bills “paperless” (email) or the traditional snail mail route – ones own preference.

This would be ideal for VAMC appointment reminders more than anything and being able to add it to your calendars and such – getting your meds via a file attachment might be kind of tricky lol.

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jaime r. williams July 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

great idea!

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James Robertson January 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Make it optional, those who want their transmission e-mailed, let them, those who want it postal let them chose. Both ways is good, but use the two options, and let others opt-out who do not have the internet.

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