VA Moves Its Travel Reimbursement System Online with AccessVA

VA travel reimbursement online

VA Moves Its Travel Reimbursement System Online with AccessVA

In an article first reported by Military.com, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making it easier for veterans and eligible beneficiaries to submit travel claims for traveling to receive medical care. Currently, those seeking reimbursement for medical travel must file their travel claims using a paper form or through specially designated kiosks at VA medical centers. After the online filing mode is made available the kiosks will be phased out, however hardcopy travel claims may still be used. However, beginning on July 13, the following locations will have online travel claim filing available:

  • Bay Pines
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Minneapolis
  • Salt Lake City

By the end of November, the VA electronic travel claim program should be available nationwide. Eligible veterans and beneficiaries will be able to visit VA’s Access VA website to file their claims. The new program will be known as the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System or BTSSS. The program promises to speed payments and cut down on errors that occur when using paper travel claims.

What is AccessVA?

AccessVA improves online interaction with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Veterans, family members, service members, and business partners by providing a single-entry point for access to many VA websites and online applications. AccessVA enables VA websites and online applications to accept a growing number of federal and commercially issued credentials (which meet US Government standards), without the need to create and manage multiple VA website specific credentials.

AccessVA offers more Increased Convenience and Options

  • In the past, VA website or online applications required users to provide a username and password for use only on that site. This forced users to maintain many different usernames and passwords for multiple VA websites.
  • AccessVA allows users to login with Sign-In Partners they may already have such as DS Logon, CAC Card, VA PIV, and more.
  • Users who do not have one of the Sign-In Partners can register once and gain access to many VA websites, instead of registering for each website individually.
  • As AccessVA grows, users will have access to even more VA websites. It will also be able to accept more credentials allowing users to choose which is most convenient for them.

What is in it for the Veterans?

The Department of Veterans Affairs exists to serve our Veterans. Veterans will realize substantial benefits by using AccessVA for online transactions including:

  1. Secure and Easy Identity Validations – AccessVA provides a single identification credential and logon process that Veterans can use for a number of federal information systems across participating agencies. Once an account is established, the Veteran will be spared the burden of having to keep track of multiple sets of identification credentials.
  2. Reduces the Wait for Service and Increases Public Trust – AccessVA provides improved customer service by enabling a more streamlined record keeping system that allows responsive and timely service for the Veteran while increasing the public’s confidence in online business transactions with the Federal Government by preventing potential fraud.
  3. Saves Taxpayer Dollars – AccessVA promotes efficiencies and cost savings by establishing a unified authentication system that can be interoperable among various agencies that service our Veterans and citizens. By adopting a single system, we save taxpayer dollars.

 What does AccessVA do?

In the past, each web site or application you visited wanted to provide you with a username and password for use on that system only. This forced you to keep up with many different usernames and passwords for different web sites. In AccessVA, a username and password that is issued to you (one example of an online credential) will be used at multiple participating VA applications. As the AccessVA sign-in service grows, so will the number of VA applications that will accept your credential. One of the main goals is to simplify the process for users to do business with the VA online.

Do I need to be a Veteran to use AccessVA?

You do not need to be a Veteran to use AccessVA. AccessVA is intended for Veterans, family members, services members, and VA business partners. Each AccessVA enabled website offers different services and may have different access requirements. If any additional requirements are required to access an AccessVA enabled website additional information will be made available on that website.

Some AccessVA Sign-In Partners also have requirements. For example, at the current time you need to be a Veteran, Service Member, or eligible dependent to acquire AccessVA’s most popular credential, DS Logon. Furthermore, you need to be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Most Veterans are already enrolled in this system, spouses and dependents are also often enrolled. The type of VA application you are attempting to sign-in to will determine whether one of the AccessVA credential providers available to non-Veterans will be accepted.

“VA is working diligently to find new ways to innovate and simplify how we serve Veterans and their beneficiaries,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Streamlining the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System will help our Veterans get their travel reimbursements more securely and efficiently.” For more information, visit the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs at this link.

 

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About the author

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Justin Fisher is a currently serving with the Arkansas Army National Guard. His career has expanded two decades and has three deployments. He holds a Bachelor’s in Arts in Communications and hosts a weekly podcast featuring candid interviews with members of the military.