The Department of Veterans Affairs is making it easier for veterans to ask questions and get answers, according to a Sept. 20 announcement on the VA’s website. But that means two familiar portals, the Information Routing and Inquiry Service (IRIS) and the G.I. Bill Help Portal, are going away.
The new service, Ask VA, goes live on Oct. 18. It will serve as a single, streamlined online service for all veterans and members of the military community. Ask VA will route veterans’ questions directly to the appropriate benefit office for faster assistance, the VA said.
Do I Need to Sign in to Ask VA?
You do not need to be signed in to VA.gov to use AVA, but if you want to track a specific question, you’ll need to verify your identity. Verified users can track and follow up on past questions and don’t have to give all of their information each time they ask a new one.
How to Become a Verified Ask VA User
To access verified user features on AVA, proof of identity is required. You’ll need to create an account on one of the following sites to verify your identity:
- Premium DS Logon: To create a Premium DS Login, you’ll have to sign in to My HealtheVet using your Premium DS Logon or ID.me user ID and password. Once signed in, click “Upgrade Now” on the top left of your screen.
Saved questions in IRIS and the G.I. Bill Help Portal will disappear
Once Ask VA comes online on Oct. 18, IRIS and the G.I. Bill Help Portal will be deactivated, so veterans will no longer be able to use that service to ask questions.
Any questions you’ve previously asked in the old portal will no longer be accessible. So, if you want to follow up on something, the VA recommends submitting a new question through Ask VA.