President Biden Credits VA Program with Streamlining, Modernizing Debt Relief

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Washington, D.C. – President Biden highlighted the Veterans-Facing Services Applications (VSA) Debt Management effort in his State of the Union speech to Congress on March 1st, crediting it with streamlining and modernizing the process to provide debt relief to Veterans.

“My administration is providing assistance with job training and housing, and now helping lower-income Veterans get VA care debt-free,” Biden said.

The White House released an additional statement outlining the steps the VA has taken to improve the process and make it easier to relieve debts accrued from medical care.

“Veterans in financial hardship who get treatment through VA are entitled to get their medical debt forgiven. But currently, they can only apply for that medical debt relief through a complex, paper form with complicated eligibility requirements,” according to a White House statement.

“To address this barrier, today the President is announcing that VA is: Simplifying the process for claiming medical debt forgiveness. VA will streamline the request process and set a simple income threshold for receiving medical debt relief. The request process will include an online option for veterans and reduce the effort required by veterans to access relief.”

GovCIO is proud to support this initiative through the VSA Debt Management program. Prior to this effort, if a Veteran had outstanding debt with the VA, they received a complex paper “debt letter.” Congress implemented mandates that sought to ensure Veterans could access their debt online.

“We are proud to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue support on this great program dedicated to modernizing and improving access to medical benefits for Veterans,” said Kristin Gill, President, GovCIO VETS Sector.

With input from Veteran Service Officers, Veterans, and subject matter experts, GovCIO successfully converted VA Form 5655 Financial Status Report (FSR) into a digital format. This report supplies VA with details regarding a Veteran’s financial status and is most often used to determine the eligibility of a Veteran for debt relief. The VA FSR Form 5655 conversion is one of the largest efforts of its kind on Va.gov. The user-friendly online version of the form uses plain language along with simple standard designs across all user tools.

“We are honored to continue this important work of building a user-friendly online platform that streamlines the process for claiming medical debt forgiveness,” said Jim Brabston, GovCIO CEO.

GovCIO has plans for future iterations of the VA FSR Form 5655, and applying agile practices, has established a critical feedback loop between designers, developers, and Veterans to drive continuous upgrades and improvements. In this next phase, GovCIO will create a simplified version of the online form so a Veteran with lower incomes will not need to complete the entire form.

About GovCIO

GovCIO is a rapidly growing provider of advanced technology solutions and digital services to the federal government. In the 11 years since its founding, GovCIO has become a leading prime contractor supporting the mission of federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Veterans Affairs, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Government Accountability Office and the Internal Revenue Service. GovCIO’s core capabilities are in cybersecurity, digital services, data analytics, digitization, DevSecOps, and IT modernization.

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