Goodwill® Aligns With The VA To Help Veterans Access Benefits
Web portal helps military veterans and their families manage benefits and claims online
ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries International is now collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to raise awareness of eBenefits (ebenefits.va.gov), a joint effort of the VA and the Department of Defense that allows veterans and their dependents to apply for benefits, view the status of their claims, and access VA documents online.
With more than 20 million veterans now living in the United States and more returning from overseas conflicts every day, many people depend on VA benefits to make a smooth transition into civilian life and to get themselves and their families on the path to financial success. The streamlined eBenefits website allows these veterans and their families to quickly access relevant, necessary benefits and services and gain eligibility to a wide array of services much faster than if they filed by paper. On average, online claims can be completed in 113 days, compared to 374 days for paper filings, helping veterans and their families obtain financial stability and a route to economic independence as quickly as possible.
"Today's veterans face a complex array of challenges and are often unsure of where to turn to for assistance," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "As part of our effort to provide holistic programs and services to returning military members, Goodwill strongly encourages veterans to enroll in eBenefits as a means to access their VA benefits."
The Goodwill for America's Heroes and their Families program is the nonprofit's multi-pronged commitment to help veterans access a continuum of coordinated, integrated services. Goodwill maintains that veterans' access to their earned benefits is a key strategy to help them obtain financial wellness. Goodwill is pleased to work with the VA to make this happen.
Goodwill has added the eBenefits badge to goodwill.org, which forwards veterans to the eBenefits website, where they can get started with their online claims process. The organization will continue to raise awareness by encouraging community-based Goodwill agencies around the country to incorporate the eBenefits badge on their local websites; promoting eBenefits as the quickest way to access veteran benefits across their various social media and online platforms; and incorporating eBenefits information and registration into Goodwill's operations and events for veterans throughout the year.
"The eBenefits website is quickly becoming the platform of choice for veterans seeking to apply for benefits online," said VA's Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. "We're thankful that Goodwill is helping veterans access their earned benefits through eBenefits."
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government agencies to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2012, more than 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services.
About the Veterans Benefits Administration
For veterans and separating service members who plan to file an electronic disability claim, the VA urges them to use the joint DoD/VA online portal, eBenefits. Registered eBenefits users with a premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.
For more information about VA benefits, visit www.benefits.va.gov, or call 1-800-827-1000.
SOURCE Goodwill Industries International