What Is eBenefits?
eBenefits is an essential resource for Veterans that will save them a great deal of time and hassle. However, to make the most out of it, you will need to know what it can do and how to use it properly.
The program is a combination of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. It features an online portal allowing service members or veterans to register and manage various VA or DOD resources.
eBenefits requires users to sign up for a free “Basic” account and later apply for a free “Premium” account. After, veterans can manage VA healthcare, military pensions, GI Bill plans, benefit payment plans, and more.
Basic vs. Premium Accounts
The main difference between “Basic” and “Premium” accounts is the level of access and personal information you can obtain.
“Basic” access allows veterans to view general information and customize it to fit their specific needs. With this type of account, you can also apply for some VA benefits. However, veterans will not be able to view any of their personal information within VA and DoD systems.
With a “Premium” account, veterans have the highest level of access to eBenefits. This type of account will allow you access to everything on the “Basic” account. In addition, veterans will also have access to their personal information with privacy and security.
IMPORTANT: The “Premium” Account is FREE for all veterans and their caregivers.
What You Need To Sign Up For eBenefits
Veterans who have a Common Access Card or are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) are essentially ready to sign up.
Veterans who have a DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) login should be able to register for an account with no issue. You can use the same login to apply for access.
Veterans with no DFAS login, not listed in DEERS, and have no Common Access Card will need to contact a regional VA office to request access to DEERS.
Setting Up Your “Basic” eBenefits Account
- Go to www.ebenefits.va.gov and click on “Register” in the upper right corner.
- Select a method of registration and provide the necessary information to complete the process. (Note: Your password expires. You will need to create a new one every 180 days)
- Verify your identity. Answer the security questions within the time limit, then select a security image.
Setting Up Your “Premium” eBenefits Account
- Click ‘Begin’ to upgrade to a premium account. You may have to answer additional security questions.
- Next screen, choose your upgrade method. We recommend “I have none of the above” because even if you have a DFAS myPay account, it causes delays and is not reliable.
- After, you will need to verify your identity through ‘remote proofing.’ Select “Begin” and follow the on-screen prompts. You’ll have limited time to answer four questions about yourself.
- Remote proofing questions are pulled from your credit history, public records, and military history. You have five chances a day to answer correctly. There will be 30 minutes intervals between fails.
- Once you’ve successfully answered the questions, you will receive notice on-screen indicating “Activation Successful.” If it is your first registration, you will need to input a recovery email.
- Next, you’ll have to do the following: confirm your password, set up five security questions, and select a security image. Make sure to keep this information on file so you can refer back to it when needed.
- You now have a Premium account.
If you are not able to complete the remote proofing process, please call the Veterans Benefits Association (VBA) Support Center to discuss your options. Call 1-800-827-1000
IMPORTANT: Remember to write down your username and password and keep it in a safe place. You will be able to use these credentials for accessing your eBenefits, your DS log-on credentials, milConnect, My HealtheVet, and Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits.
Veterans Should Have A “Premium” Account
In order to entirely benefit from the portal, Veterans should take that extra step to get a “Premium” account. This is a portal for your disability claims information.
In addition, you can apply for education benefits, manage your health care, and request new Veteran ID cards. Since the VA is a bureaucracy, having a site like eBenefits saves you a lot of time and trouble, especially when it comes to getting them on the phone.
Four Main Benefits You Can Manage Through Your Account:
If you have a service-connected disability or if you are trying to file for a service-connected disability, this portal is vital. The site goes in-depth about eligibility requirements, guides you through filing a new claim, and allows you to manage your current benefits. They provide step-by-step instructions to help you navigate the process. It may seem straightforward, however, only to a certain extent.
Although eBenefits is excellent for obtaining resources, learning about eligibility, and checking your VA pay history, it is not so great when a high level of expertise is required to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.
The VA is like an insurance company. If they can find any way to give you the least amount of compensation, they will, even if they know you deserve more.
It’s unfortunate but an ugly reality for thousands of veterans. Many might think filing a claim is easy. However, the more complex your situation is, such as filing secondary claims, the greater the margin is for potential error. A simple error or lack of evidence can result in an unfair rating. This can affect your financial compensation by hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
#2: Health Care
Veterans with service-connected disabilities are given the highest priority for VA care. If you are interested in applying for health care benefits, you can do so through eBenefits.
Once you are in the VA system, you can set annual appointments for vision and dental using My HealtheVet. You can also view VA lab and test results, order hearing aid batteries, and refill your prescriptions. Additionally, the portal will allow you to pay your VA co-pay bill. Should you have any questions, the site offers secure messaging to communicate privately with your VA health care professionals.
Education benefits are important to most Veterans and their families, especially as they transition from military service to civilian life. Veterans can apply for education benefits, adjust their current benefits if they wish to transfer schools, or choose to take a break.
Within eBenefits, you can learn about GI Bill benefits and compare them by the school. Using this tool helps you decide if you wish to take courses in person or online (or a combination of both). From there, you can add your preferences for on-the-job training or apprenticeships with employers, VET TEC training providers, or traditional schools. Then, narrow your list by location and let the computer do the work for you.
Additionally, you can change your address, view your VA payment history, check how much GI Bill eligibility you have left to use, and much more.
Accessing some of these records will be faster than others. Still, by using your “Premium” account, you can get your VA medical records, download copies of your benefit letters, or request a copy of your military records, such as your DD214. Your account is also where you’ll take care of general housekeeping tasks, such as changing your address or other personal information.
A Mission To Serve Our Heroes
We hope this guide provided you with a better understanding of how to use eBenefits properly and just how helpful the resource can be.
Have a question? On the fence? Contact us for more information. We are here for you — we proudly serve those who served. Veterans are our only priority because they made this the land of the free through their bravery and sacrifice.