White House VA Hotline surpasses 250,000 calls from veteran community


Pledged by President Donald J. Trump as part of his administration’s commitment to reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as of May 14, the White House VA Hotline has answered more than 250,195 calls since it went live June 1, 2017.

The hotline, (855) 948-2311, serves veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors by giving them a direct, nonemergency, contact line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with agents — the majority of whom are veterans or from a veteran family — who are trained to address general and common VA inquiries.

“The White House VA Hotline is quickly becoming VA’s front door for questions or concerns about VA and community resources,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This milestone is a testament to VA’s commitment to improving the veteran experience.”

While veterans are encouraged to use existing VA contact centers, the hotline offers an alternative “always the right number’” approach, transferring calls when needed to VA subject matter experts, such as the Veterans Crisis Line. The hotline serves as the VA’s front door to listen to veterans’ experiences, identify trends in veteran feedback and resolve veterans health, benefits and services concerns anywhere in the department.

More than half the calls to the hotline are general inquiries about the VA’s care, benefits and memorial services. Concerns that cannot be resolved immediately are entered as cases, accessible to the VA Offices of Client Relations. To date, 94 percent of the total 157,346 cases created have been resolved.

According to recent data from April, the average wait time to speak to a live agent was nine seconds, with calls typically lasting about 15 minutes. About 1 percent of all calls were compliments.

For further information, please contact the veteran services office.

For more information

The office of the Archuleta County veterans service officer (VSO) provides assistance to qualified military veterans and their families, or a veteran’s survivors, in applying to and in obtaining VA program assistance, benefits and claims. This assistance is provided within the guidelines, policies and procedures established by the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This is a mandated program of the state of Colorado.

For further information on VA benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office, located at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The best way to contact me is to set up an appointment, for either at your home or in the office, so I can schedule a specific time in order to answer and assist each veteran in Archuleta County.

The office number is 264-4013; fax number is 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 office. Always leave me a message and phone number to contact you.

Veterans’ groups

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

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

• American Legion Post 108 Ladies Auxiliary: Second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

• Veterans for Veterans: Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

• Combat Veterans PTSD Group: Every other Tuesday at noon, Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Contact Gary Hanneman at 946-2540.

• Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: First and third Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Sharon Carter’s office. Contact Charlotte at 903-9690.

Important numbers

• 799-VETS, www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.

• Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.

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

• VAMC Albuquerque NM: (800) 465-8262.

• VAMC Albuquerque NM emergency notification: (800) 465-8262, ext. 5739.

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.