Veterans in several states have been contacted by the Department of Veterans Affairs cautioning them that there could be a system error preventing their correct address from showing up in the VA system.
The VA has stated that both the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration have “detected inconsistencies with how veterans’ permanent mailing addresses are being updated and stored at VA medical facilities and shared with the national enrollment system,” according to a VA press release on Monday.
The VA is asking that all vets confirm their mailing and home addresses, phone number and email at http://www.va.gov/change-address.
VA urges all #veterans to verify that the info VA has on file for them is correct. To do this, veterans should go to https://t.co/tmwvORS4Cg & verify that their mailing & home addresses, phone number & email information are correct. https://t.co/H1xv3x01S9 via @Militarydotcom
— The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) May 9, 2019
Veterans can create an account if they don’t have one, call VA toll-free and speak with a customer representative, or visit their local VA office.
Updating one’s address affects numerous VA benefits, including VA health care (including prescriptions, appointment reminders, lab and test results, and other communications), Disability compensation, Pension benefits, Claims and appeals, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), Military.com reported.
There would be no address changes made by the system that governs GI Bill benefits, home loans, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance, or The Foreign Medical Program.
This isn’t the first VA computer glitch affecting veterans’ benefits. In November, a computer error resulted in thousands of veterans facing delays in their education and housing benefits, National Public Radio reported.
The glitch was caused by an outdated computer system that was unable to handle an updated request when the new GI Bill was processed.
President Donald Trump signed the Forever GI Bill in 2017, which greatly expanded veteran benefits, but the VA’s computer systems were incapable of handling the changes, creating a serious backlog. The Forever GI Bill was designed to base housing on the school zip code and not the veterans.
This error processing the changes resulted in numerous veterans receiving their checks either late or less than expected, making it difficult for many to pay their bills.
Patrick Murray, the deputy director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said, “With all the delays trying to get the upgrades in the ZIP code processing, they suddenly got all their enrollments, which usually come during the spring across the summer. Instead, they all came a few weeks before the fall semester, and they couldn’t keep up.”
A letter sent to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie explained that the VA’s IT systems would freeze and then crash. Tasks that used to take five minutes suddenly required 45 minutes and “managers had to write off 16,890-man hours due to system crashes or latency issues,” NBC News reported.