What is the VA Solid Start Program
The VA Solid Start program was created in 2019 with the goal of helping newly separated service members. The program is designed to call new Veterans three separate times during their first year of separation from the services. These calls are placed around 90, 180, and 365 days after separation in hopes that one of these calls will reach the Veteran. Veteran Affairs will reach out to newly separated service members with the phone number that is on their ebenefits account.
Why VA is calling new Veterans
These phone calls are to provide resources to new Veterans. These include:
- Mental health services for suicide prevention no matter the discharge status or service history
- Educational Benefits
- Apply for disability compensation
- Enroll in VA health care
- Information to job training back in the civilian world
The outcome in the first few years
VA placed a goal in 2019 to reach out to approximately 200,000 newly separated Veterans. VA was able to call approximately 124,000 newly separated service members in 2020. Nearly 60% of those calls were answered and VA was able to help new Veterans immediately. This is vital due to the increase risk of new Veterans that struggle with suicide due to the new transition back into civilian life.
Who could be calling
Veterans need to anticipate phone calls from VA for this program, but they also need to have their guard up. Scammers will call Veterans claiming they are with VA and will ask Veterans for personal information like a social security number or log in information.
Be aware that VA would never ask for a Veteran’s personal information over the phone. Do not give out any information like a social security number over the phone or email.
If you think VA Solid Start called, but you thought it was a scam, call the program at this number to be connected to a trained professional : 1-800-827-0611
Other Ways VA Could Contact
VA has made plans to roll out a text message option and to schedule calls in hopes to reach more younger Veteran’s. This will also most likely cut down on the amount of calls that are assumed to be spam.
“VA Solid Start” VA.gov, January 19, 2023. https://www.benefits.va.gov/TRANSITION/solid-start.asp
“VA launches Solid Start to ensure Veterans are contacted during initial transition” VA.gov, January 19, 2023. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5367
“VA Solid Start program makes strides in first year” VA.gov, January 19, 2023. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5577
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