Prosperopedia.com is dedicated to helping people understand what they can do to be prosperous, to save money, build wealth and enjoy an abundant life. For those who have served in the armed forces of the United States of America, there are benefits that come with being veterans of those institutions. Access to those benefits is managed online through a portal called VA/DoD eBenefits.
This article describes the VA eBenefits web portal and gives an introduction on how to use it.
The eBenefits portal was created as a service of the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense to help US military veterans understand and gain access to benefits to which they’re entitled based on their service in the armed forces. The VA eBenefits portal has several purposes, including allowing veterans to:
- Apply for benefits that include: disability compensation, pension, housing, education and training, health care, insurance, and burial allowance.
- Manage existing benefits, including: tracking benefit claims, looking up your military records, updating contact and direct deposit information, finding a VA representative to help you with access your benefits, accessing compensation information, managing education enrollment and benefit transfer options, coordinating health care benefits, receiving VA home loan Certificates of Eligibility and other housing related opportunities, managing VA provided insurance benefits, and tracking and updating pension information.
- Learning about your VA benefits and how to make use of them. This section guides you through the various aspects of VA benefits that are available to you as an honorably discharged service vet.
- Receive help from the Veteran Affairs via online chat or over the phone, or find a regional office where they can meet up with someone who can help them in person.
The eBenefits portal also links you to the National Resource Directory and the VA Employment Center, both of which work separately from what’s available in eBenefits, but both of which are complementary to the objective of eBenefits.
How to Register for VA eBenefits
Registration for eBenefits is done through the registration link at the top right of each eBenefits page. Clicking that link will take you to the DS Logon Registration page, which will walk you through the process of creating a DS Logon account using your choice of one of three different registration methods:
- Using a Common Access Card
- Using a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) myPay account
- If neither of those two options listed above apply to you, you can use a more manual registration process (meaning you’ll need to provide your name and social security number to have DS Logon look up your information) to obtain your DS Logon account.
If you already have a DS Logon account, you don’t need to register for an account to use eBenefits. Instead, you can go ahead and login to eBenefits (even if this is your first time using it) using your DS Logon account login.
If you need more help setting up your DS Logon, you can watch the video below to walk you through the process.
eBenefits Basic versus Premium Account
There are two levels of accounts available with eBenefits: Basic and Premium
The Basic account gives you access to general eBenefits information and allows you to apply for some VA benefits, but it has restrictions, including that you’re unable to view your personal information from VA or DoD.
The Premium gives you access to everything available from the eBenefits web portal, including viewing and updating your contact and banking information as well as applying for available programs.
To be eligible for a Premium eBenefits account, you must be registered in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
Using the VA eBenefits Portal
As mentioned above, the VA eBenefits web portal can be used for lots of different purposes serviced by the VA. I’ll provide links below to help you navigate to the appropriate section of eBenefits based upon what you want to accomplish.
For each of these links, you’ll need to be logged in to eBenefits in order to complete the process of applying for something or managing your information, since doing each of those things involves inputting personal data.
Request Help from a VA Representative: Use this to get help preparing claims. You can also find a local representative using the VA eBenefits claims search page. You have the choice of using a recognized Veterans Service Organization (VSO), an attorney, or a VA-certified claims agent. You can search by location to find one close to you.
Apply for Disability Compensation: If you have disabilities that occurred during your time spent in military service or that can be traced back to time spent in the military, you can use this application page on the eBenefits portal to apply for compensation consideration.
Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Home Loan: This service allows you to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, which is necessary for obtaining a VA-backed home loan.
Apply for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant: This page is where you apply for an SAH grant, which is awarded to veterans who have disabilities and need to have homes adapted to their conditions. SAH grants can be used to retrofit an existing home for accommodation or to build a new home that meets the needs of a disabled veteran.
Vocation Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits: On this page you can start your application to receive help with education and employment counseling. This service includes providing counseling on how to use your VA benefits to pursue an education as well as career counseling and vocational rehab programs.`
TRICARE Health Plans: This page allows you to find a TRICARE health plan and enroll in it. You can also use this section of VA eBenefits to view and update your information with regard to TRICARE medical plans.
Purchased Health Care Benefits Forms: Here you’ll find the forms required to receive benefits for medical services you receive outside of VA facilities. The forms in this section of eBenefits include CHAMPVA Application for Benefits (form 10-10d) and the VA Prescription Order Form (form 10-0426) along with several other important medical-related forms.
Application for Veteran’s Group Life Insurance (VGLI): This is where you apply to be enrolled in the VA’s group term life insurance program, VGLI. You can also view and update your VGLI policy details here.
In addition to these services provided as part of the VA eBenefits portal, the website also has important links to other VA services that are managed on separate websites, including applying for VA healthcare, VA pension benefits, and formal education (including the GI bill) both of which can be done online using the same DS LOGON you use for the eBenefits portal.
If you need help using the VA eBenefits portal, you can contact them by phone, chat with them online, or visit your VA regional benefits office. Information for all of those resources is published on the eBenefits contact page.