VA benefits seem complicated. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With VetsHQ, 13.8 million Vietnam and Gulf War veterans and their families will have a fast, secure, and online analysis of the VA benefits and entitlements that apply to each, individually. The goal of VetsHQ is to put the power in the hands of the veteran.
There are up to 75 different benefits and entitlements an individual veteran, or the veteran’s family, may be entitled to receive. Those 75 are accompanied by nearly 24,000 pages of regulations and operating instructions and 568 different forms.
On top of all this, the veteran may have to fill out up to 173 forms to secure those entitlements. The process is daunting and unfair — and managed through a bureaucratic maze of processes and piles of paper.
Veterans walk away, fed up by the bureaucratic twists and turns and the morass of government-speak. Nearly 60 percent of the nation’s 22 million veterans are simply unaware of the benefits they have earned in service to their country. And worse, just 23 percent of the nearly 54 million total population of veterans and their beneficiaries currently receive benefits from the VA.
VetsHQ changes all that. VetsHQ was created with the mission of helping ensure America’s commitments to veterans and their families are honored.
“Even the smallest of benefits can mean a better standard of living for a veteran and their family,” said FastYeti Incorporated Co-CEO Linda Rix. “Benefits improve the quality of life. And that is a debt we owe every veteran.”
VetsHQ provides clear guidance about the benefits each veteran member may be entitled to receive. VetsHQ cuts through jargon, conflicting instructions, and requirements that can make anyone dizzy. Using its dynamic questionnaire (Dynamic, Integrated, Veterans Entitlement questionnaire or DIVE), VetsHQ walks the veteran through the claims assessment process — similar to what TurboTax does for tax analysis.
The process is magical in its simplicity. Using the veteran’s DD-214, or separation form, to the DIVE questionnaire captures and analyzes the veteran’s service record. As the veteran enters this information, benefit requirements are instantly analyzed. Of the 75 possible, the benefits the veteran may be eligible for magically appear on-screen. And the DD-214 is a document every veteran is familiar with and has kept on file at home — so it starts with something the veteran is familiar with and has on-hand.
Consider this, the VA’s regulations rate 34.5 on the Gunning-Fog readability index. In other words, the level of “readability” is so poor that it requires 16.5 years of education beyond high school read it accurately. Even the VA’s website benefits pages require a graduate level education to read (21.6 years of education). Just cutting through this level of smokescreen is a feat in and of itself. With the DIVE questionnaire approach, VetsHQ has triumphed over government-speak and yet retained the level of accuracy needed.
In addition, VetsHQ has partnered with certified Veterans Service Officers (VSO) to make certain resources are available to help each veteran gets a fair presentation of their claim at the VA. Each VSO also performs a quality assurance check on the forms and files the claim for the veteran. Not all veterans may choose a VSO to represent them, but if they do, they will be in the hands of an advocate.
The first step is simple. Know what benefits the veteran is eligible to receive. The second step is to fill out the forms correctly so the veteran doesn’t commit a procedural error that elongates the time it takes to process a claim. The third is to make sure the veteran or the veteran’s VSO can advocate for a claim because through knowledge there is power. With VetsHQ, all three of these elements are made possible.
“VetsHQ tips the scales toward a veteran community long underserved by the status quo,” said Rix. “The current system continues to keep veterans and their families at arm’s length and at the mercy of a heavily bureaucratic, cold, indifferent process. VetsHQ is just the opposite. We democratize benefits assessment. Veterans already possess the independence, strength and motivation to take control in determining what their needs are and how those needs are best met.”