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October Shirt Blast

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Alex Gross, the first sergeant assigned to the 169th Fighetr Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C, March 2, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Alex Gross, the first sergeant assigned to the 169th Fighetr Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C, March 2, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Hello Swamp Foxes. And a hearty WELCOME BACK to our deployers!  It’s good to be back. Given we have so many folks in the SCANG eligible for VA benefits, wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place where you could do everything you needed to do regarding the VA?  You know, just a single spot to see your benefits, apply for benefits, and learn about benefits?  Well, have I got great news for you. There is! It’s called eBenefits. It’s awesome! and it’s the topic of this blast.

Why you should care:

If you previously served on active duty, have been on Title 10 orders or have 20 years of service regardless of ever being on Title 10 orders, the VA sees you as veteran. If the VA sees you as a veteran and you don’t have an eBenefits account you are absolutely missing out. It doesn’t matter if you’re Active, Guard, or Reserve - you need an account. Know a veteran who might be a little IT challenged or has been out for so long they say things like, “Back in my day…”?  Tell them they need one too!

When the VA recognizes you as a veteran, you will literally become a card-carrying-veteran. The benefits you’re eligible for and levels therein will depend on a number of variables, e.g., where you served, how long you were in Active status, etc.  If you’re curious about where you stand and what you are eligible for, get an eBenefits account.  Simply visit, https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/vic/ for more information.

What is eBenefits?

It’s one of the most successful products of a VA and DoD collaboration with the purpose of serving service members, veterans, wounded warriors and their families.  You can access:

-              Education benefits

-              VA disability info and applications

-              Vocational rehab

-              Healthcare

-              Insurance

-              Housing and home loans

-              Some documents related to your service, post-separation and retirement

-              Letters providing verification of service

-              And more…

Levels of Access:

Basic account: The basic account allows you to access quite a bit of general information; however, access to your personal information and being able to apply for various benefits is very limited.

Premium account: Verifies you are who you say you are and grants you access to all the personal information they have available throughout the site. It also allows you to use all the applications eBenefits has to offer.

Getting Access:

This is the easiest part! Just go to eBenefits. You’ll need a DoD Self-service Logon (DS Logon) account, which is also not difficult to get; you can set-up a user name and password or just use your CAC. Personally, I prefer using my ID card; however, there are times when the user ID and password are more effective, e.g., using a Mac or not having access to a CAC reader.

That about sums it up for the quick, rough-out of eBenefits. Go get your account ASAP and don’t forget to visit the VA Mobile Vet Center when they come around; it’s a huge resource. If you’re wondering where I got all this sweet intel, check out the references below. I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for what you do every single day!

REFERENCES

eBenefits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage

VA FAQs: https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/answers/list

Veteran Status: https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/1038989/guard-and-reserve-members-receive-veteran-status/

Veteran ID Card: https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/vic/