Maintaining Veterans' Benefits
May 07, 2020 by
NY State Division of Veterans’ Affairs Accepts Claims From Home During COVID-19 Closures
Among those affected by the COVID-19 crisis are veterans who rely on benefits and services that provide financial and other assistance. Major benefits include compensation, pensions, survivors’ benefits, rehabilitation and employment assistance, education assistance, and health care services. These items are more critical than ever as families face new realities of health issues and unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis.
A challenge for veterans’ affairs administrators is how to keep these benefits flowing remotely. With offices closed, there are significant hurdles in approving or administering even routine assistance.
The New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs (NYS DVA) creatively overcame these hurdles by implementing a new Benefits Intake API that allows the state to submit benefits claims directly to the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Without the API, the entire veteran community in the state of New York would be in jeopardy of not receiving benefits, compounding the crisis.
The implementation of the VA Benefits Intake API enables the veterans’ services officers to work remotely, so that they can continue to serve veterans and process claims during this crisis.
Following a rapid deployment schedule, the NYS DVA’s API went live in less than a week, and now allows employees to support their families and stay safe by working remotely. The API’s interface allows officers to process and submit claims without the need for in-person document handling. Continuity of work ensures that veterans maintain access to the benefits they earned, even in the midst of a public health crisis.