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VA, DOD enhance benefits portal


By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: January 30, 2013 - 1:00 pm ET
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U.S. veterans can now view processing times for each phase of their medical claims through enhancements the U.S. Veterans Affairs and Defense departments have made to a joint web portal that provides information on military and veterans' benefits.

This is one of the additional features in the latest version of eBenefits, the free, self-service web portal from both departments that provides registered users with secure online information and access to benefit resources.

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Called eBenefits 4.3, the enhanced version uses interview-style questions and drop-down menus instead of fill-in-the-blank forms for the online disability compensation claim submission process. It also has a tool that helps veterans learn if they are eligible for vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits, a calculator for military reservists to determine retirement benefits, and a search function that allows claimants to identify their veterans service representative.

New features and functions will be added in the months ahead, according to an announcement from the Veterans Affairs department. By the VA's estimates, there are 2.2 million users with eBenefits, and the department expects to meet the agency's 2013 goal of 2.5 million users. The VA noted that with this recent release of eBenefits, the web portal has completed 13 consecutive releases since October 2009 with 47 self-service features for servicemembers and veterans.


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