VA appeal hearings going virtual


Here’s another reason to hook up with the Department of Veterans Affairs via Telehealth: Starting this year you’ll be able to attend a virtual appeals hearing without leaving your home. Telehealth is a way to get your health care on any iOS, Android mobile or web device such as a tablet or computer, and now its use has been expanded.

The VA has been testing this for a year now, using it with over 150 virtual hearings. Some of those were with veterans who would not have been able to attend their hearings without having the ability to use the video connection. 

Over 99,000 veterans used the Telehealth last year. You can use the video connect for a primary-care medical visit, mental health visit or any type of visit that doesn’t require hands-on from medical staff.

Go to and click on VA Video Connect. Scroll down and view the how-to videos. Click to get the app at either the App Store or on Google Play. You’ll see training materials linked on that page, including quick guides about your device, as well as a FAQ page.

Be sure to look at the yellow box and run the connection test to make sure your mobile device is compatible with the video connect. If you have bad internet access at home, remember that other locations are being opened up one at a time: American Legions, VFW posts and even some Walmarts will have connection spots with ATLAS (Accessing Telehealth through Local Areas Stations). Check into this and test out your options before your virtual hearing appointment to be sure you have the best possible connection. You’ll likely need 3G or 4G and at least two connection bars, but it’s set up to take advantage of low-bandwidth connections.

To learn more about what to expect at the hearings, go to and search for appeals hearings.

(c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.