A new hotline has been developed and launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs specifically for women veterans. This hotline, 1-855-VA-WOMEN ( 829-6636 ), began accepting calls on April 23, 2013 receiving and responding to questions from veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services available to women veterans. Some women veterans do not know about the VA care and services available to them. The hotline will allow the VA to field their questions and provide critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.
The hotline is staffed by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide information about benefits including health care services for women. Callers can be linked to information on claims, education or health care appointments, as well as information about VA cemeteries and memorial benefits. VA Staff can answer urgent questions and provide referrals to homeless and mental health services as well as provide Vet Center information.
Women make up nearly 15 percent of today’s active duty military and 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces.The populationof women veterans using VA benefits including heatk care is growing rapidly. Since 2000, the number of women veterans using VA health care has more than doubled, from nearly 160,000 in 2000 to more than 354,000 in 2012. Based on the upward trend of women in all branches of service, the number of women veterans will continue to rise.
The VA is commited to making improvments for the growing population of women veterans, including the way it communicates with them. In 2010, the VA established an outbound call center to contact women veterans and encourage them to enroll in VA health care.
Many women who served don’t identify as veterans and therefore don’t think they qualify for VA benefits. The VA needs to correct existing misinformation and misperceptions so they can serve more women veterans with the benefits they’ve earned.
Women veterans are entitled to apply for the same benefits as their male counterparts, which include health care and pharmacy benefits as well as education benefits, disability compensation, home loans, employment assistance and more. The hotline joins numerous other VA hotlines that provide critical information and assistance to veterans, such as those for veterans in crisis and in dnager of becoming homeless. Veterans can also receive information and apply for benefits online at www.ebenefits.va.gov and manage their health care at myhealthvet.va.gov.
Don’t forget to honor MOM. Speak to you again next week.