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New Online VA Travel Reimbursement Program Is Failing Veterans, Insp. Gen. Finds


Northern Star Girl:
 New Online VA Travel Reimbursement Program Is Failing Veterans, Inspector General Finds


13 Jun 2023 | By Patricia Kime

EXCERPTS Below:  (Click News Link above to view entire story)
A new system designed to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs reimburses veterans for appointment-related travel quickly and properly is not living up to expectations, frustrating veterans and causing headaches for travel staff.

The Veterans Health Administration rolled out its Beneficiary Travel Self Service System, a web-based travel reimbursement program, in November 2020 to replace a long-standing system accessible through stand-alone kiosks at VA medical facilities or by submitting paper claims.

The VA reimburses veterans and, in some cases, their caregivers for travel expenses to and from many medical appointments, including mileage, tolls and parking. It even covers airfare in certain cases.

Sen. Jon Tester, the Montana Democrat who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has pressed the VA to address issues with the system and make it more user-friendly.

Last week, Tester called it unacceptable that veterans weren't consulted before the BTSSS was introduced, and he implored the department to make immediate changes.

"The bottom line is that VA needs to fix this system without further delay, and I look forward to seeing renewed efforts to repair the trust lost from veterans in this process," Tester said in a press release.


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