By Debbie Gregory.
The Veteran’s Administration launched new Women Veterans Hotline: 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-829-6636). This number connects Women Veterans, their families and caregivers to a nationwide call center that responds to questions concerning health care, benefits, services and V.A. resources.
The VA is providing highly-trained telephone agents as part of a program designed to reach more Women Veterans. These VA agents provide accessibility in a private, dignified and sensitive climate that deals with gender-specific issues.
The Veterans Administration recognizes the unique needs of women Veterans. Over 334,000 women Veterans used VA healthcare in 2012. The number of women Veterans utilizing VA healthcare has grown from 160,000 back in 2000. It is interesting that even with number of women veterans that use VA healthcare increasing; only six percent of the total patient population at the VA is women. This is often due to a lack of knowledge,
The VA provides comprehensive primary care for women Veterans as well as offering services for obstetrics-gynecology, caregiver support, crisis intervention, mental health services. They also provide emergency and specialty care for homeless women Veterans. Some of the other services provide disability compensation, home loans, and employment assistance.
According to Irene Trowell-Harris, the Director of the Veteran Administration’s Center for Women Veterans, “Many women who served don’t self-identify as Veterans, therefore they don’t think they qualify for V.A. benefits. We need to correct existing misinformation and misperceptions, so we can serve more Women Veterans with the benefits they’ve earned.”
The Call Center 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-6636has a 30-day tracking policy on all transfers and referrals to ensure beneficiaries receive the services they need and don’t become waylaid by the system.
Women Veterans have served and often under challenging circumstances. The VA is working to address their special needs.