A new VA hotline brings clarity to female veteran resources

1-855-VA-WOMEN addresses veterans’ health care and benefits questions

While many female veterans are still uncertain or unaware of the many government services and resources available to them, the Department of Veterans Affairs hopes to make that a thing of the past. The military and foreign affairs journal Veterans Today recently reported that the VA launched a new hotline on March 27 to respond to questions from veterans, their families and caregivers regarding the aid available to women veterans.

“Some women veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services available to them,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in the article. “The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.”

The report also explained that the hotline is manned by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide information about benefits, like health care services, for women. Callers can be connected with information on claims, education or health care appointments in addition to information about VA cemeteries and memorial benefits. Staff can answer urgent questions and provide referrals to homeless and mental health services in addition to Vet Center information.

The women veteran count shows no signs of slowing

The hotline is especially timely as the number of female veterans continues to climb. Women currently form almost 15 percent of active duty military and 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. In fact, the number of women taking advantage of VA health care exploded from 160,000 in 2000 to more than 354,000 in 2012.

Irene Trowell-Harris, director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans, noted in the story, “Many women who served don’t self-identify as veterans and therefore don’t think they qualify for VA benefits. We need to correct existing misinformation and misperceptions so we can serve more women veterans with the benefits they’ve earned.”

All women veterans are entitled to apply for the same benefits as their male colleagues, including health care and pharmacy benefits as well as education benefits, disability compensation, home loans, employment assistance and more. In addition to (1-855-VA-WOMEN), veterans can also receive information and apply for benefits online at VA’s www.eBenefits.va.gov and manage their health care at www.MyHealtheVet.va.gov.

As a partner of the VA, Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio is proud to serve our nation’s female veterans. The Volunteers of America Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park is home to homeless female veterans receiving treatment and care at the Cleveland Wade Park Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Based on the therapeutic community model, the domiciliary provides an array of rehabilitative support and clinical services to develop veterans’ independence.