VA Services Expanded Online Due to Pandemic
Americans are having to change their way of life due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses are having to shut down temporarily, while others are shifting to online services. Many government offices are closed right now due to social distancing guidelines, and for the protection of employees. The good news is that veterans services, such as benefits hearings, are still continuing as normal.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to move appeals hearings online for the time being. Even though they cannot be done in person, they can still be done in another format so that veterans who are disabled and in dire need of benefits can get them quicker. They do not have to wait until after the pandemic is over, which could take months for things to get back to normal. Veterans benefits are already delayed enough as it is, so moving hearings to an online format will greatly help disabled veterans.
Virtual board hearings actually started last year. However, when the VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act was signed on April 10, they became a permanent option for veterans. These hearings are important for veterans. Many look forward to them because they settle disputes and decide what benefits veterans are entitled to receive.
Appeals hearings are not the only services moved online. The VA is in the process of transitioning many services online to physical contact between employees and clients. The agency also wants to ensure that its health care facilities have enough space to deal with veterans who contract COVID-19.
The VA is making great use of its online capabilities. So far, the agency has held approximately 640 virtual hearings. It can hold up to 250 per week. Veterans can connect to a hearing through several options, such as the VA Video Connect app.
Veterans can avail of other services during this time. They can enroll for benefits and get information about various programs. There are programs for those who are blind, amputated and paralyzed. There are also Veterans Temporary Assistance and Military Family Relief Assistance programs to help those who are struggling financially during this time. Another benefit is the real estate tax exemption for honorably discharged veterans who are 100% disabled. For children of veterans, there is the Educational Gratuity Program. This program offers financial assistance to children of honorably discharged veterans who have disabilities due to service and have served during a war.
If you’re a veteran, make sure you don’t overlook the benefits you deserve. Even though offices are shut down right now, there are still services available to you. You are even eligible for stimulus payments.
Contact Us for More Information About VA Benefits
The VA is making it possible for veterans to get their benefits quickly even though we’re in a pandemic. Online hearings can settle disputes so you can get approved for benefits.
Need help with your VA benefits? Seek assistance from White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. He can represent you and help you fight for your rights. Schedule a consultation today. Give us a call at 914-294-2145.