VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION OVERVIEW OF VBA BENEFITS AND
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION OVERVIEW OF VBA BENEFITS AND SERVICES July 2014 Controlled Unclassified Information VBAs mission and vision drive its service to Veterans, Servicemembers, Family Members and Survivors VA Mission Statement To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan Abraham Lincoln VBA Mission Statement The mission of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), in partnership with the Veterans Health Administration and the National Cemetery Administration, is to provide benefits and services to Veterans and their families in a responsive, timely, and compassionate manner in recognition of their service to the Nation.
VBA Vision Statement Our vision is that the Veterans whom we serve will feel that our Nation has kept its commitment to them; employees will feel that they are both recognized for their contribution and are part of something larger than themselves; and taxpayers will feel that weve met the responsibilities theyve entrusted to us. Courage, honesty, trust, respect, open communication, and accountability will be reflected in our day-to-day behavior. 2 All VBAs work is grounded in VAs core values: ICARE Because I CARE, I will Integrity Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage. Commitment Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VAs mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.
Advocacy Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries. Respect Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it. Excellence Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them. 3 VBA Organizational Structure Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations Operations Center
Eastern Area Southern Area Central Area Records Mgmt. Center Western Area Appeals Mgmt. Center Operations Analysis Operations Mgmt. Office of Field Operations (OFO) oversees delivery of benefits and services through 56 regional offices of varying sizes and other entities, including:
4 Area Offices Appeals Management Center & Records Management Center 8 Regional Loan Centers 6 Fiduciary Hubs 4 Education Regional Processing Offices 1 Education Call Center 3 Pension Management Centers & 1 Pension Call Center 10 National Call Centers 1 Insurance Center & Insurance Call Center Operations Center, which implements our Transformation Plan Operations Analysis, which conducts STAT reviews and other analysis projects Operations Management, which oversees daily field station operations, including performance and workload management and resource allocation 4
Veterans benefits and services are managed and distributed by VA Regional Offices throughout the United States Togus Manchester Seattle Anchorage White River Jct. Ft. Harrison Portland Fargo St. Paul Boise Reno Manila Oakland
Milwaukee Sioux Falls Cheyenne Providence Hartford Buffalo Detroit Des Moines Lincoln Salt Lake City Boston Pittsburgh Chicago
New York Newark Philadelphia Wilmington Baltimore Cleveland Indianapolis Denver Huntington St. Louis Wichita DC Roanoke Louisville Los Angeles
Winston Salem Nashville Albuquerque San DiegoPhoenix Muskogee Little Rock Columbia Atlanta Montgomery Honolulu Waco Regional Office (RO) RO and Education Regional Processing Office (RPO) RO and Regional Loan Center (RLC) RO, RPO & RLC RO, PMC, and RLC
RO, PMC and Insurance Center Appeals Management Center RO and Fiduciary Hub RO, Fiduciary Hub, and PMC Jackson New Orleans Houston Eastern Area Southern Area Central Area Western Area San Juan St. Petersburg
Did you Know? 51% of VBA employees are Veterans 5 VBA Organizational Structure Deputy Under Secretary for Disability Assistance Compensation Compensation: Oversees disability compensation paid to Veterans disabled by an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during military service Pension & Fiduciary Pension and Fiduciary: Administers pensions for wartime Veterans and their survivors, dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of Veterans who die from service connected disabilities, burial benefits, and fiduciary program Insurance
Benefits Assistance Service Insurance: Maintains life insurance programs that give financial security and peace of mind for Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families (SGLI, VGLI, TSGLI, etc.) Benefits Assistance Service: Responsible for the touch points Servicemembers, Veterans, their families and other stakeholders use to interface with VBA, including outreach, partnerships, Web communications, social media, and telephone quality and training 6 Disability Compensation What is it? Service-connected disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to Veterans for a disability that arose during service, was worsened or aggravated by service, or is presumed by VA to relate to military service.
Who Qualifies? A typical beneficiary for disability compensation is a Veteran who became injured physically during service or has psychological issues related to service. 7 Eligibility for Disability Compensation General Eligibility Requirements The disability is related to an injury or event experienced while on active duty The Veteran or Servicemember received an other than dishonorable discharge Examples of Injuries Incurred in or Aggravated while on active duty:
Fractured wrist Migraine headaches Chondromalacia, left knee Tinnitus Post traumatic stress disorder PRESUMPTIVE DISABILITY BENEFITS VA presumes that some disabilities are a result of military service. A Servicemember or Veteran may be eligible to receive disability benefits if he or she has a qualifying disability related to certain conditions of service such as exposure to Agent Orange or radiation, or being a former prisoner of war. 8
Insurance Insurance: VAs Insurance program provides Servicemembers and families with life insurance protection without underwriting, and provides Servicemembers with traumatic injury protection Uniformed Services and Post-Vietnam Veterans: Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI): Low-cost term life insurance Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (FSGLI): Insures spouses and dependent children of Servicemembers who have SGLI coverage Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI): Automatic feature of SGLI that provides payment to Servicemembers who suffer certain losses due to traumatic injuries that occur in service Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI): Allows separating Servicemembers to convert their SGLI to lifetime renewable term insurance Disabled Veterans Insurance Programs: (open to new issues)
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI): Life insurance for Veterans who received a VA rating for a new service-connected disability in the last two years Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI): Provides mortgage life insurance to disabled Veterans approved for a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant 9 Insurance Insurance: WWI, WWII and Korean Era Insurance Programs: These programs no longer issue new coverage, but active policies continue United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI) Provides coverage to Veterans who served during World War I era; policies were issued until April 1951 National Service Life Insurance (NSLI) Provides coverage to Veterans who served during World War II; policies were issued from 1940 until April 1951 Veterans Special Life Insurance (VSLI) Provides coverage to Veterans who served during Korean Conflict and post-Korean period; policies were issued from 1951 through December 1956 Veterans Reopened Insurance (VRI) - Provides coverage for disabled Veterans who had been eligible to obtain insurance between October of 1940 and January 1957; policies were issued from May 1965 to May 1966
10 VBA Organizational Structure Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Employment Education Education: Administers VA's education programs that provide education and training benefits to eligible Servicemembers, Veterans, and dependents Home Loan Guaranty: Provides oversight of the VA Home Loan Program which ensures Veterans can obtain, retain, and adapt their home by guaranteeing their loan against foreclosure
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E): Oversees programs that provide employment and independent living services including career vocational counseling, job search assistance, and post-secondary training for service-disabled Veterans Home Loan Guaranty Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment 11 Education Education: VA Education benefits advance the education and skills of Veterans, Servicemembers, family members and survivors according to the following eligibility standards:
Post-9/11 GI Bill At least 90 days aggregate active duty service after 9/10/2001, and either still on active duty, honorably discharged, or discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Active Duty enrollees pay $100/month for 12 months and then are entitled to receive monthly EDU benefits after completing a minimum service obligation Montgomery GI Bill Select Reserve For Reservists with a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserve who are actively drilling Reserve Educational Assistance Program* For Reservists activated at least 90 days after 9/11/2001 Veterans Educational Assistance Program For Veterans who entered service between 1/1/77 and 6/30/85, contributed between $25 and $2,700 and with a discharge given under conditions other than dishonorable
Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program Available to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related conditions, and of Veterans who died while on active duty or as the result of a service-related condition Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Up to 12 months of training at a community college or technical school in a high-demand occupation field for unemployed Veterans between ages 35 and 60 with other than a dishonorable discharge, not eligible for other EDU benefits, not receiving unemployability compensation, and not enrolled in fed/state job training programs (ends on 3/31/14) 12 Understanding the Post-9/11 GI Bill 13 Understanding the Yellow Ribbon Program Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition and fee costs that exceed the tuition and fees cap of $19,198.31 at non-public schools, and out-of-state charges. VA matches each additional dollar that an institution contributes,
up to total cost of tuition and fees. Payable to school when students tuition and fees exceed the cap: Based on school participation Veterans only at 100% benefit level Based on student qualification Spouse of Veteran (transfer of entitlement) Dependent children (transfer of entitlement) 14
Home Loan Guaranty Home Loan Guaranty: VAs Home Loan Guaranty program helps Servicemembers, Veterans and their families obtain, retain, and adapt a home Benefits of VA home loans: Purchase a home (existing or pre-construction) as a primary residence Refinance an existing home loan Typically no downpayment or mortgage insurance Reusable benefit VA limits certain closing costs a Veteran may pay Loans may be assumed by qualified borrower VA staff dedicated to assisting Veterans who become delinquent on their loan VAs Home Loan Guaranty Program also: Provides Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants for severely disabled Veterans
Issues direct loans to Native American Veterans living on Federal Trust land Helps borrowers in default avoid foreclosure 15 Home Loan Guaranty VA-Guaranteed Home Loans are made by private lenders such as: Banks Credit Unions Mortgage Companies These loans are made to eligible Veterans for the purchase of a home for their personal occupancy. VA guarantees a portion of the loan to protect the lender against loss if the payments are not made.
The guaranty backing serves to eliminate the need for a downpayment. What the Benefit Can Be Used For A VA-Guaranteed Home Loan can be used for any of the following: To buy a home, condominium, or townhouse. To build a home. To improve a home by installing energy efficient features as approved by lender and VA. To refinance an existing home loan. Program Eligibility Eligibility for using the VA-Guaranteed Home Loan program is based on the individuals service. Generally, the following people are eligible: Veterans who meet length of service requirements. Servicemembers on active duty who have served a minimum period.
Certain Reservists and National Guard members. Certain surviving spouses of deceased Veterans. You can learn more about eligibility at: www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/purchaseco_eligibility.asp. Competitive Terms The VA-Guaranteed Home Loan program gives Veterans access to advantageous loan terms: Competitive interest rates Competitive monthly payments Competitive closing costs To qualify for a VA-Guaranteed Home Loan, individuals must: Have satisfactory credit Have sufficient income to support loan payments Live in the property No Downpayment Option
To many the VA-Guaranteed Home Loan programs main advantage is its NO DOWNPAYMENT OPTION. VA is the largest lending program offering guaranty on zero-down payment loans. 89% Percentage of VA home loans made in fiscal year 2013 made with zero downpayment. Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR&E) Program? The VR&E program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment. Eligibility Requirements: Honorably discharged; Have a service-connected disability rated 10 percent with a serious employment handicap or 20 percent or more with an employment
handicap; and File an application for VR&E services. What happens after eligibility is established? Eligible Veterans meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) for evaluation to determine entitled to services. 21 In-Depth Benefit Review: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment: VAs VR&E (Chapter 31) program helps Servicemembers and Veterans with service connected disabilities prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs through counseling and case management provided by nearly 1,000 rehabilitation counselors across the country For Veterans with a discharge given under conditions other than dishonorable with at least a 20% disability rating and an employment handicap, or a 10% rating with a serious employment handicap. VR&E provides: Interest and aptitude testing, and career counseling Job training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and work-readiness assistance
Special employer incentives, on-the-job-training, and non-paid work experiences Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school Independent living services Servicemembers with disabilities participating in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) are able to participate without a VA service-connected disability rating 22 In-Depth Benefit Review: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment: VR&E also operates VAs VetSuccess on Campus program at 94 college campuses across the country; VSOC counselors provide outreach, benefits assistance, professional counseling, and referrals for health care and other VA services VAs Chapter 36 - Education and Career Counseling program provides personalized counseling and support to Servicemembers and Veterans
Transitioning Servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty, Veterans within one year following discharge, and any Veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit are eligible for Chapter 36 benefits Chapter 36 services to beneficiaries include: Career Choice Increasing understanding about the best career options based on interests and capabilities Benefits Coaching Providing guidance on the effective use of VA benefits and/or other resources to achieve education and career goals Personalized Support Giving academic or adjustment counseling and personalized support to help remove any barriers to success
23 In-Depth Benefit Review: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment: Program Highlights: VR&E also offers a number of employer incentive programs, such as: On-the-job training: Employers pay Veterans at an apprentices wage and VA supplements that salary until the Veteran reaches the journeyman level Special Employer Incentives: VA reimburses employers for up to 50% of a Veterans salary for up to 6 months
Nonpaid Work Experience: VA provides Veterans with work-related experience in local, state or federal government 24 Website Overview: History eBenefits (www.ebenefits.va.gov) is a joint VA/DoD Web portal that provides self-service capabilities to Veterans, Service members, their families and caregivers. Development of eBenefits was initiated in March of 2007 at the recommendation of the Presidents Commission on Care for Americas Returning Wounded Warriors (Dole/Shalala). With quarterly releases, eBenefits continues to evolve as a one-stop shop for Veterans, Service
members and their families. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / Department of Defense 25 Reasons to File Electronically and have an eBenefits Account Claims submitted online may be processed faster, helping VA meet the 125 day at 98% accuracy goal by 2015. Veterans filing for disability benefits can initiate their claim online and preserve their date of claim. Veterans have up to 365 days to fully complete their claim, upload any supporting documentation and submit directly to VA. Request and receive Official Military Personnel File including DD Form-214 within hours. Search for state and county benefit programs for Veterans. The Career Center enables Veterans to apply for federal and civilian jobs, build a resume and translate military skills to civilian jobs. Request representation and assistance from a Veterans Service Organization . U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / Department of Defense
26 Website Overview : Website Statistics eBenefits Statistics are captured as of August 2014 are as following: Registered eBenefits users: Over 4 million Claims status views: Over 39.2 Million since release date of April 2010 Home Loan COE: 573 K since release date of April 2010 OMPF (DD 214): 612 K since release date of December 2009 Letter Generator: 5.1 Million since release date of January 2011 Website visits: In August alone 3.96 Million visits U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / Department of Defense 27 eBenefits Home Page 28 VA Letters available 24/7 29
VBAs eClaims and FDC Programs Overview Applicants simply submit all required and relevant documentation at the same time to get a faster VA claim decision. Filing an electronic claim, or eClaim, on eBenefits reduces claim paperwork and helps reduce the backlog. Filing an electronic FDC through eBenefits allows Veterans to receive even faster decisions on their disability compensation claims. 30 Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Program The Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Program was created as part of VAs larger transformation initiative to help Veterans and their families receive the fastest decisions on their compensation, pension and surviving dependent benefit
claims. Through the FDC Program, applicants simply submit all relevant and required records in their possession at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no more evidence to submit. This allows VA to review and provide decisions on claims more quickly. 31 Who can file an FDC? Veterans may file an FDC for disability compensation for: An injury, disability or condition believed to have occurred or been aggravated by military service A condition caused or aggravated by an existing service-related condition Veterans filing an FDC for disability compensation can file their claim online through eBenefits. Veterans and surviving dependents may also file paper FDCs for Pension or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). 32 Why file an electronic FDC?
Gets Veterans even faster VA decisions on their disability compensation claims Puts the Veteran in control of their claim by providing all evidence at once and certifying they have no more evidence to submit Allows Veterans to take advantage of a shortened and simplified web-based application form Veterans have one year after they initiate their claim on eBenefits to gather, upload, and submit all documents, and may be paid back to the date their claim was started 33 eBenefits & eClaims eBenefits is a joint VA and Department of Defense (DoD)
web portal that provides Veterans, Servicemembers, survivors and their family members access to over 55 selfservice features and VA and DoD benefits information. Veterans must have a Premium, Level 2 eBenefits account in order to file a claim electronically through eBenefits. To view a step-by-step video on How to Get a DS Logon for eBenefits, visit: youtu.be/QojXqc_TwUk 34 Overview of Applying Online There are 9 Basic Steps to file an FDC through eBenefits: 1. Log into eBenefits
A step-by-step video on how to file an FDC for disability compensation through eBenefits can be found at: youtu.be/RSzX029_ohA. 2. Enter Personal Information 3. Choose a VSO 4. Tell VA about Service Information 5. Choose your type of claim 6. Enter Treatment and Direct Deposit Information 7. Review Special Circumstances 8. Upload Documents 9. Perform Final Review and Submit the Application 35 36
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