The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline -
1-855-VA-WOMEN - to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their
families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available
to women Veterans. The service began accepting calls on March 27, 2013.

"Some women Veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services
available to them," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
"The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide critical
information about the latest enhancements in VA services."

The hotline is staffed by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide
information about benefits including health care services for women.
Callers can be linked to information on claims, education or health care
appointments as well as information about VA cemeteries and memorial
benefits. Staff can answer urgent questions and provide referrals to
homeless and mental health services as well as provide Vet Center

Women make up nearly 15 percent of today's active duty military and 18
percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. The population of women
Veterans using VA benefits including health care is growing rapidly. Since
2000, the number of women using VA health care more than doubled, from
nearly 160,000 in 2000 to more than 354,000 in 2012. Based on the upward
trend of women in all branches of service, the number of women Veterans-and
female VA users-will keep climbing.

VA is committed to making improvements for the growing population of women
Veterans, including the way it communicates with them. In 2010, VA
established an outbound call center to contact women Veterans and encourage
them to enroll in VA health care.

"In VA health care alone, women constitute only 6 percent of VA patients,
but those Veterans have a high perception of the quality care they are
receiving," said Irene Trowell-Harris, director of VA's Center for Women

"Many women who served don't self-identify as Veterans and therefore don't
think they qualify for VA benefits. We need to correct existing
misinformation and misperceptions so we can serve more women Veterans with
the benefits they've earned."

Women Veterans are entitled to apply for the same benefits as their male
counterparts, which include health care and pharmacy benefits as well as
education benefits, disability compensation, home loans, employment
assistance and more.

The hotline (1-855-VA-WOMEN) joins numerous other VA hotlines that provide
critical information and assistance to Veterans, such as those for Veterans
in crisis and in danger of becoming homeless. Veterans can also receive
information and apply for benefits online at VA's