VA’s veteran card system overloaded

| December 6, 2017 | 46 Comments

Last week, the Veterans’ Affairs Department unveiled their system to issue ID cards to veterans who didn’t have other ways to prove their veteran status. The online system promptly became overloaded with requests and quit working, according to Stars & Stripes.

The website that veterans were instructed to apply for them,, contained a message Tuesday that it had temporarily stopped the online application process.

The VA was attempting to fix the problem as of Tuesday afternoon, said Curt Cashour, the agency’s press secretary. The VA did not provide an estimate of when the problems would be remedied.

“We are aware some veterans have experienced issues with the application process, but leaders of VA’s Office of Information and Technology are actively engaged in fixing them,” Cashour said.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (46)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    Strange. When I went to the VA office at county building in 1970, all I got was a piece of carcstock with an ID number written on it by hand.
    Now I have that plastic card with Braille, but I got that 8 years ago, but that came in the mail. Is that the one they’re talking about?

    • An Old Arty Sgt says:

      These new ID cards are for all veterans that don’t use the VA and for those that didn’t retire.. The ones with nothing to show their military service other than a DD 214.

      It’s a way to show you are a veteran and cut down on all the fakes out here..When you go in Home Depot for a veteran discount or Golden Corral on Vet’s Day for a free meal. You show this card, or the ones you already have. If you have a military retiree ID card or a VA ID Med Card. You don’t need to get this card..

      It’s for all the veterans that carry around a DD 214 showing they are a veteran..

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Thanks, Sarge, but you left out that important word ‘fakes’.

        Like many other people, I’m waiting breathlessly to see how many phony “vets” enroll themselves in this.

        My plastic card arrived by mail after I enrolled in VA health care, so I’m good to go.

        • 26Limabeans says:

          There will be a black market for them sure as shit.

        • An Old Arty Sgt says:

          I got my plastic VA ID Card a few years back. Hopefully, this will help cut back on all the fakes.. These cards only say the person served in the military. How much time isn’t listed, just a honorable discharge. So if he got out during BCT, does he get a card too? Or is the 180 day requirement still there??

          • Mason says:

            I thought an ELS was not coded the same as an honorable discharge?

            • Martinjmpr says:

              Unless the law has changed, a person has to have 180 consecutive days of active duty before they can be considered a “veteran” for purposes of benefits.

              Which means there are retirees from the National Guard and reserve who are not, legally speaking, considered to be veterans. Back before Desert Storm and the GWOT, it was not uncommon at all for a guardsman/reservist to serve a full 20 year career and never break the 180-consecutive-day limit.

            • Fm2176 says:

              Pretty certain it’s not. When we chapter trainees, the process is simple unless they will have 180 or more days when they depart (usually recycles or those requiring convalescent leave). Then they must complete ACAP, as their status changes.

        • timactual says:

          ” I’m waiting breathlessly to see how many phony “vets” enroll themselves in this.”

          I suspect that’s why the system crashed. The recruiting system doesn’t seem to have that problem.

    • Rock says:

      They do have two new trusted ID systems, and SheerID that actually verify Active Duty/Honorably Discharged Veteran status for several retailers out there. They verify it against The SCRA database and another database that they received from DoD.

      VA uses in fact. SheerID is being used by Lowe’s, either way I had a friend who works IT with Lowe’s, and they are requiring Vets to register with their phone number and verify their status against SheerID because they’re trying to weed out the phonies.

      So, I do think it’s pretty neat that some retailers are taking the initiative to ensure that only the people who truly deserve these bennies get them. Even without a new Vets ID.

      • Frankie Cee says:

        For years, I have “flashed” my VA ID card at Lowe’s, but a few months back they allowed us to include our status with our “MyLowe’s” account. Now when my store card is scanned, it automatically includes my discount.

        • Rock says:

          Yep exactly. I have my myLowes card linked to my phone number so I get my discount by providing my number, in store or online.

          I love Lowe’s for the simplicity of the vetting process.

  2. ChipNASA says:

    How many of them are going to be issued to Frauds and Fakes?
    1 is too many and I’m *certain* this is not a foolproof system.

    I have to log in to the eBenefits site through dcma and then you can go in and print out a Veteran’s certification letter.

    1. Download VA Letters
    2. Choose:
    Benefit Summary – Veteran Benefits
    Benefit Verification
    Disabled Veteran Civil Service Preference
    Proof of Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage
    Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage
    Service Verification –
    Send this letter to confirm your Branch of Service, Date Entered on Active Duty, and Date Discharged from Active Duty.

    Proof of Service Card –

    Create a Proof of Service Card to confirm you’ve honorably served in the Uniformed Services.

    TAH DAH!!!
    No need to reinvent the WHEEL and much less fraud, because you have to be in the system documented to be able to log in and access this portal.

    Jebus. Idiots.

  3. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    The system has been overloaded due to fraudsters who are busy getting LEGIT.

    Give it a day or two and everything will be normal again.

    Welcome to just another way to get an ID card.

  4. NHSparky says:

    VA–we fuck up more before 9 am than most people do all day.

  5. Martinjmpr says:

    What about those veterans whose records were sealed because they were in sent on secret “black ops” missions into North Vietnam and China after being recruited for Delta Force out of basic training and then their records were burned in the 1971 fire?



  6. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I’m a Navy active duty veteran and was denied a VA medical sign up in 2007 when I retired and was on Cobra. Turns out that in 2003, bush cut the funding for the va and since I was not combat wounded, served in VietNam, I was ineligable for the sign up. If I signed up in 1966 when I got out, I could have been in the system but I had health insurance from where I worked. When I hit 65 in 2010, I went right into Medicare. This online sign up for the Vet cards should be handled by a competent agency. I get the feeling that the va while under orders to send these cards out are not too thrilled about it along with the shitty patient care I read about. I am not computer savvy, so I most likely will have a very hard time trying to get a card online if I give it a try. One should be able to go there in person and apply but the va is Reactive, not Pro active. My opinion, and not to besmirch other Vets who have an easy time with the va.

  7. USAFRetired says:

    Is this website brought to you by the same folks who developed the ObamaCare web site?

    AAFES opened up the Exchange Online to all honorably discharged vets last month.

  8. JacktheJarhead says:

    Shockingly the PRM allows you to have Veterans status on your drivers license. You have to present a DD-214 when you renew. Might not be perfect but better than nothing.

    • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

      When I renewed my drivers license a couple of years ago, I did not know about the V on the license and the person behind the counter never mentioned it to me even though I was wearing my LPH 3 ball cap. Found out about it later on.

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      Just did that here in Nevada with my last driver’s license renewal. Showed my DD214 and now my DL is an official Federal document, too.

    • Green Thumb says:

      If this is the case, then they need the status of the individual’s discharge.

      At Home Depot (or wherever):

      Veteran: “Give me my discount”

      Employee: “Show me your card”

      Veteran: “Here it is. See!!!”

      Employee: “I see. And I see that you are a shitbag. General Discharge. Hey look, folks, I am hooking this clown up with a 10%er discount and he is a shitbag! Who in line is Honorable?”

      Line….numerous hands raised.

      Veteran: “Man, you don’t know. Its was the TBI and PTSD, man. Its tough.”

      Employee: “I do know, assclown. Here is my card. Says Honorable to boot”

      Veteran…..splits out with discounted shit….

  9. borderbill (a NIMBY/BANANA) says:

    I tried to sign up- said I wasn’t legit ’cause the phone I’ve had for at least ten years ain’t mine. Guess they’re part of the boggy area surrounding the swamp. I’m a vet of the USMC (’59-’73); 2 tours in RVN; other sea and foreign service; Honorable Discharge. (Poor me) Fuck ’em all.

    • Rock says:

      Is your number a landline or a cell phone? If it’s a cell phone, is it a prepaid?

      The number needs to have your name attached to it, like they do with postpaid cell phones and landlines…like when you call someone your name shows up on caller ID.

  10. Graybeard says:

    Outsourced with incomplete/inaccurate specs, I’ll bet.

  11. Non Cedo Ferio says:

    I think it’s a good idea and while we all tend to be a bit jaded from time to time here at TAH. Esp concerning any benefit that can be manipulated by fraudsters. My thought is that the light shone on phoneys and bringing SV to the forefront by this blog as well as others caused maybe the powers that be in government to think of a way that legit veterans could prove their service. I applaud VAs efforts to offer this to veterans.

  12. Mason says:

    This thread has been an awesome source for vet discounts! I didn’t know any of this exists. Now Lowe’s, Cabelas, and all my favorites have me verified. Nice!

    Funny how all these sites verified me in minutes, except the AAFES one. Didn’t know they opened it to vets, cause I see good deals posted all the time for them. 2-3 days wait time on the verification.

    Now I’m glad I put off Xmas shopping until now. 😉

  13. Green Thumb says:

    Waste of time and money.

    Just show the DD214 for non-retirees.

    But then again, the VA is more jacked up that our civilian populace on reading and interpreting the DD214.

    After all, they are still paying how many Vietnam POW’s?

    And what is the requirement to be a Vet? 30 days on AD?

    Fucking garbage.

    • Rock says:

      To be considered a Veteran, you have to serve at least 180 days on Active Duty after BMT and your training pipeline and receive and Honorable discharge. Some programs lower the discharge requirement to General.

      Most of the shitheads I’ve seen get out within the first year were ELS discharges, which means they’re not considered Veterans.

      In my time treating patients, I’ve only seen one that had less than a year of Active Duty and was discharged with a honorable, but he was severely burned during a live fire exercise, so he was an exception to the rule.

      I normally agree with ya, but I believe that this is a good program. We have too many damn posers forging DD214s and civilians who don’t know how to spot forgeries. I think being able to ask Johnny Shithead with the tin cup to see his vetted ID to confirm that he is a Vet would be easier.

      Of course, there’s more cost effective ways they could of done this program.

      • Green Thumb says:

        General Discharge = Shitbag. I think it has to be 90 days.Could be wrong, though.

        I get the injury component. Its not their fault. Things happen. But otherwise…..

        Pisses me off that these shitbags get a leg up.

        • Rock says:

          Yes, I totally agree, if you can’t get a honorable discharge, you’re a shitbag. It’s not that hard to get a honorable discharge.

          We’re both right on the length of service though:

          • 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime. If the discharge documents reflect 90 or more days of continuous active duty service with an acceptable COS, the Veteran is eligible, regardless of the narrative reason for discharge.
          • 181 continuous days or more during peacetime. If the discharge documents reflect 180 or more days of continuous active duty service with an acceptable COS, the Veteran is eligible, regardless of the narrative reason for discharge.

          Mind you, if they fail BMT or the rest of their training pipeline, it doesn’t count to those limits and it’s an ELS.

    • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

      Green Thumb;
      I had my DD214 shrunk down to business card size along with my ARNGUS DD214 and had them laminated back to back at Office depot which I use for discounts at Home Depot and places that offer discounts for Vets.

  14. devildog225 says:

    I agree green thumb. Who came up with this dumb a** idea and then who voted to put in in action. I f you’re a vet you get a dd214 plain and simple. If not send of to get a copy of it it . How much easier can they make it for phony’s to pop out of the woodwork? As it it stands now they’re pretty creative without giving them an easier route.

  15. REMF says:

    Damn it. I need this card for when all my poser shit (hats, vests, etc) don’t cut it at the IHOP for a 20% discount.

  16. 26Limabeans says:

    A convincing limp and a ball cap will open doors for you.

  17. chooee lee says:

    When I got out of the Navy in 1964 they gave me a business card sized card that said I was an honorably discharged veteran.

  18. AAV Amphibs says:

    But showing a DD214 isn’t practical considering like an 19 year old cashier is really going to decipher type discharge, length of service during a lengthy line. A simple VA ID card won’t show too much information that nobody needs to know. Especially a teen cashier. This card has nothing to do with VA benefits so who cares nor is the 180 days active duty requirements applicable. Many guard, reservist served their contract honorably without 180 days active duty. They don’t deserve discounts at Lowes?

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