The Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its text message notification system soon.
Currently, the VA only sends veterans text messages regarding medical appointments. VA's text messaging system, VEText, is being replaced by a new, enhanced platform, VANotify.
Veterans do not need to take any action to receive the new text messages. If they currently receive texts from the VA, they will be enrolled automatically in the new system.
The new electronic notification system will allow veterans to receive more types of text message notifications, including:
- Prescription shipments and deliveries;
- VA's receipt of benefits applications;
- Changes to a veteran's account;
- Monthly notifications about benefit payments; and
- Debt information
Currently, all veterans are automatically opted-in to the text messaging service when they provide the VA with a cellphone number and enroll in VA health care.
Veterans may update or add a cellphone number to their account when they check in for medical care at their next appointment, or by using the self-service kiosks in VA facilities.
Veterans also can update their cellphone information on the VA’s website. To do this, a veteran should click the "Sign In" button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. From there, they can sign in or create an account. After signing in, they should click on their name in the upper right and update their cellphone information in the profile section.
The VA still is required by law to notify veterans of legal decisions, debts, medical appointments and other benefit-related information via mail, so this text messaging system won't replace much of that written communication soon. However, it does allow veterans to receive rapid communication from the VA for things like COVID-19 vaccines or last-minute appointments.
The new text messaging system also promises to let veterans add appointments to their electronic calendars seamlessly and integrate with apps such as Google Maps to provide navigation instructions to an upcoming appointment or the nearest VA location.
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