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    GATHER Veterans

    Veterans Affairs Offices – A New Phase

    By E. Malik

    COVID-19, what has it left the same? NOTHING! From lifestyles to the working environment and educational systems, this pandemic has altered everything. It has shaken every nation it has touched around the globe. But that didn’t stop the world! We are a little slow, but we are functioning.

    One of the departments coping with this completely crashing situation in the most responsive way is Veterans Affairs. The department has been super active throughout time and continues to thrive. Like other departments, it has introduced new working policies with more significant targets despite the hardships. Here is an insight into the current changes in the Veterans Affairs Offices.

    Opening More Health Facilities

    Acknowledging the first and foremost requirement for the current situation, officials have opened several health facilities for proper screening and health checkups. Since the virus has spread so wildly all over the country, these facilities have helped loads.

    Needless to say, the safety instructions are to be followed strictly at these units. You cannot visit any of these health facilities without an appointment. When visiting, make sure to wear a mask, or you cannot enter the facility.

    Moreover, anybody entering the facility has to undergo a COVID-19 screening (not a test) before moving on to further activities.

    Initiation of “Tele-Town Halls”

    “Tele-Town Halls” have been the most surprisingly beneficial initiation for the Veterans’ Affairs. Since most of the brick-and-mortar offices have been closed, the department had to find a way to reach out to its people and offer them the necessary services for which they chose “Tele-Town Halls.”

    Now the staff reaches out to the veterans through call centers to widen the reach. It has enabled the officials to reach out to many veterans who are not on online platforms where they usually interacted with their audience before the pandemic.   

    Work from Home

    Due to the closure of offices, the staff must work from home, which has been proving more productive. However, the authorities do not plan to continue with remote working post-pandemic. They believe that the reason behind employees’ higher productivity and availability is due to lockdown, which has given them free time and nothing else to do.   

    Extended Deadlines

    Based on the current uncertain situations, the office has extended applications’ deadlines for people applicants to avail them easily. They have also dropped some in-person examinations on the applications.  

    Emergency Management Coordination Cell or EMCC

    VA has established an emergency unit called the Emergency Management Coordination Cell. It has devised new plans and strategies to not only serve the veterans but also contribute to improving the overall condition of the country. They have imposed aggressive policies for in-person checkups, ensuring the safety of both the visitors and workers.

    References

    https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions/

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2020/05/15/changes-to-va-benefits-operations-forced-by-coronavirus-could-outlast-the-pandemic/

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