Veterans Corner: VA announces single access point to all VA contact centers

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    By Raymond Taylor
    PREVIEW Columnist

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the formal launch of 1-800-MyVA411 — (800) 698-2411 — a single access point to all VA contact centers.

    The number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to serve veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.

    Responding to veteran feedback on the challenges of knowing the right number for VA assistance, 1-800-MyVA411 serves all members of the veteran community seeking information or help. Veterans and their families can still reach the Veterans Crisis Line directly at (800) 273-8255 and pressing 1, by chat or by texting 838255. The White House VA Hotline is also still available at (855) 948-2311 for veterans and their families to share compliments and concerns.

    “1-800-MyVA411 is always the right number to reach VA and is a great example of the department’s customer service strategy in action,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “1-800-MyVA411 provides easy access to specialized contact centers as well as an option to immediately talk to a live agent.”

    When dialing (800) MyVA411, callers have the option of pressing zero to be immediately connected with a customer service agent to answer questions or provide a warm handoff to the appropriate VA expert. 

    During the pilot phase from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 31, 1-800-MyVA411 connected more than 1.3 million callers with VA contact centers and experts.

     1-800-MyVA411 provides information on:

    • COVID-19 updates.

    • Health care eligibility and enrollment.

    • VA benefits, such as disability, compensation and pension, education programs, caregiver support, insurance, home loans, and burial headstones and markers, among others.

    • The nearest VA medical centers, benefits offices or cemeteries to veterans, VA Medical Center operational updates and connection to VA Medical Center operators.

    • Directory assistance and technical support for www.VA.gov.

    • Debt and payment options.

    Vets4Vets grant

    Vets4Vets has received a grant from the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This is to support veterans in our community through the following assistance: housing, utilities, mental health counseling, dental services, travel assistance, automobile repairs, gas and food cards, and emergency veteran assistance. 

    Contact Vets4Vets at 799-VETS or www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.

    Contact information

    Veterans: Thank you for your service. Welcome home.

    For further information on VA benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office (VSO), located at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

    The office: 264-4013, fax number: 264-4014, and email is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the Archuleta County VSO. Always leave a message and phone number to contact you.

    The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

    • American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

    • Veterans for Veterans: every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Tennyson Building Event Center, 197 Navajo Trail Drive. Breakfast meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. Contact 799-8387 for more details.

    • Combat Veterans PTSD Group: every other Tuesday at noon, Community United Methodist Church, Lewis Street. Contact Gary Hanneman at 946-2540.

    • Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: first and third Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Carter’s office; contact Charlotte at 903-9690.

    Important information

    • 799-VETS, www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.

    • Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.

    • Farmington VA Center: (505) 326-4383.

    • VAMC Albuquerque, N.M.: (800) 465-8262.

    • VA Health Care Emergency Notification: (844) 724-7842.

    The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7/365. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online or text 838255.