VA Has New Hotline to Help Women Veterans
Women make up nearly 15 percent of today’s active duty military and 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces.
So I’m glad to learn that the VA has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN — to respond to questions from veterans, their families and caregivers about VA services and resources available to women veterans.
The service began accepting calls in April.
“Some women Veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services available to them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a news release. “The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.”
According to the VA’s news release: “The hotline is staffed by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide information about benefits including health care services for women. Callers can be linked to information on claims, education or health care appointments as well as information about VA cemeteries and memorial benefits. Staff can answer urgent questions and provide referrals to homeless and mental health services as well as provide Vet Center information.”
The VA reports that the population of women veterans using VA benefits is growing rapidly. Since 2000, the number of women using VA health care, for instance, more than doubled, from nearly 160,000 in 2000 to more than 354,000 in 2012. Based on trends, the number of women veterans will keep climbing.
I strongly encourage you to share this information with a woman veteran in your life. The VA offers vital services to veterans, so it’s just as vital to learn about them and access them.
Richard VanHouten is founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.