The #VetQ initiative, launched by the VA and partner organizations on
July 30, 2014, encourages veterans to take to Twitter to ask questions
about their benefits using the hashtag #VetQ. The hashtag will identify
the question and allow the VA and partner organizations to answer it.
Partner organizations like Paralyzed Veterans of America are invited
to answer veterans’ questions and advertise their services to help
better assist veterans in getting the benefits they are entitled to.
Veterans can ask questions about topics ranging from health and
disability benefits to VA home loans to GI Bill and education benefits.
VA is encouraging veteran service organizations to answer questions even
if other VSOs have already responded, as the first answer may not
always be the best depending on the needs of each individual veteran.
"I am excited at the prospect of using social networking to educate
veterans, dependents, and caregivers on VA benefits,” said Sherman
Gillums, Jr., associate executive director of veterans benefits
for Paralyzed Veterans of America. “The #VetQ initiative will provide a
dynamic forum to engage stakeholders in real time, which will help VA
deliver timelier services.
Additionally, it gives veterans service
organizations like Paralyzed Veterans of America an opportunity to
partner with VA in the effort to close transition gaps for Post-9/11
service members and their families."
Tim Hudak, staff writer for the digital engagement team at VA, said
that while questions from veterans will be limited to Twitter’s 140
characters, the goal is to provide veterans with a convenient method for
asking questions and facilitate collaboration among VSOs and the VA to
ensure the veteran gets the best answer and services available. Over
time, common questions and answers will likely be categorized on a
frequently asked questions page, he said.
“Eventually, we’ll able to broadcast that reach and get the
information to [veterans] without them even having to ask,” he said.