West Texas VA Health Care System
Click 2 Benefits
How does a Veteran in sparsely populated West Texas obtain the personalized benefit information and claims assistance offered by a VA Regional Office 300 miles away? This is a challenge answered by a collaborative effort between the West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) and the Waco VA Regional Office (VARO) called “Click 2 Benefits.”
The “Click 2 Benefits” initiative was pioneered at the VA Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) and the Cleveland VA Regional Office (VARO) with great success. It allowed Veterans to have the same benefit assistance experience at the CBOC as they might have if they had visited the VARO.
The WTVAHCS serves 33 counties across 53,000 square miles of rural geography in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. The George H. O’Brien, Jr. VA Medical Center located in Big Spring, Texas is accustomed to employing creative methods by which to serve Veterans in their vast service area. So it was no surprise when they welcomed the opportunity to be the first “Click 2 Benefits” site with the Waco VARO. Soon after the implementation of the “Click 2 Benefits” in Big Spring, Waco VARO and WTVAHCS quickly identified a need to create the same program at the Abilene CBOC.
The George H. O’Brien, Jr. VAMC and Abilene CBOC both provide a private area with a computer using a Tandberg Precision HD video camera with MOVI software for the Veteran. Selected staff at the VAMC contacts the VARO’s Public Contact Team, where a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) connects by computer with the Veteran for virtual face-to-face assistance. Through audio and visual conferencing, the VSR can conduct a counseling session with the Veteran and offer claim filing assistance, benefit information, claim status inquiries, eBenefits registration and proofing. The Veteran is able to watch as forms are completed on their behalf and verify their accuracy without ever touching the computer.
For Veterans who wanted to see a benefits counselor, Big Spring was previously served by a VSR who was stationed at that location once a week. This arrangement was not always convenient for the Veteran with urgent needs and the distance to the WACO VARO was too great to travel. With “Click 2 Benefits”, Veterans can expect to travel less and have immediate and efficient benefits assistance through the virtual experience. It is a win-win arrangement for everyone.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for Click 2 Benefits program, please call the Business Office at 432-263-7361 or 1-800-472-1365, Ext. 7347.