The eBenefits website is an online portal that allows you to apply for benefits like disability compensation, your GI Bill, and VA home loan eligibility. It also allows you to track your application throughout the approval process. Once your application is approved, you can track the payments you will receive and when they will be paid. I am sure for many years you will still be able to apply for these benefits using a paper application but applying electronically using eBenefits will speed up the processing time of your application. For the last few years, media outlets have reported on the large backlog of disability compensation applications the VA is working through. Knowing of this backlog, applying electronically is really in your favor. I have talked to veterans who told me how they applied for disability using a paper application, and that their application was lost somewhere in the system. The likelihood of this happening by applying electronically is greatly reduced since you are able to track your claim through the system.
Applying for disability is a such an important topic that I will dedicate a few posts specifically to that process. This post is just to let you know of the advantages of having an eBenefits account before you apply for disability.
Here is a list of the benefits you can apply for using eBenefits that I think are the most relevant to the typical veteran.
- Apply for disability compensation
- Apply for your pension if earned during your service
- See if you are eligible for a VA home loan
- Apply for the GI Bill
- Apply for health care through the VA
- Apply for Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Apply for burial benefits for a deceased veteran
Once you apply for any of these benefits using the website, you can track your application. Some of them are immediate. I filled out the online form to see if I was eligible for a VA home loan and I received the acceptance in seconds.
Signing up for a basic eBenefits account is relatively easy to do online. Just go to the eBenefits homepage and click on the “Register” button. There are three register options you can pick from. If you aren’t a current federal employee, the third option will probably be what you want to select. There are 7 short pages of information you will need to go through before your account is set up. Successfully registering online will give you basic access to your account. There is a second level of eBenefits called a premium account. This is what you will want to take advantage of the benefits I list above. Getting the premium account is a little more labor intensive. Check out this link for a full description about obtaining a premium account.
The VA just released a video explaining how you can get signed up for eBenefits. Find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbYUKhbB7A