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Press Release

July 17, 2008

No. 08-18

Mokie Porter
301-585-4000, Ext. 146

VA Finally Moving in the Right Direction By Accepting
Online Applications for Benefits

(GREENVILLE, S.C.) – “It’s about time!” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), upon reading today’s news release from the Department of Veterans Affairs that on-line applications are now being accepted from veterans, survivors, and other claimants filing initially for disability compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits without the additional requirement to submit a signed paper copy of the application.

“The VA is finally waking up to the electronic age when it comes to filing for benefits,” Rowan said.  “By accepting the electronic application as sufficient authentication of a claimant’s application for benefits, VA officials are acknowledging that technology can be used to speed up a process that is often as convoluted as it is confusing.

“This is a nice first step,” Rowan said.  “But it is only a first step.  The VA must continue to innovate if it has any realistic hopes of reducing the backlog of claims that have piled up over the past several years.  The VA is using in-house technology in its on-line claims applications process.  To speed the adjudication process, the VA now needs to explore the use of artificial intelligence software.

“An added benefit of going online is that the computer and the Internet are the communications tools of the next generation,” Rowan said. “Our younger veterans have grown up with computers, and the VA needs to talk to them in their own ‘language.’”
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


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