November 09, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are introducing legislation to protect the customer service process and experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Improving Veteran Experience Act of 2023 would establish into law the Veterans Experience Office (VEO), making it a permanent fixture to help meet the increased demand for services.
Established in 2015, the VEO collects veterans’ feedback through surveys and uses that data to enhance the VA’s website and other resources used by veterans interacting with the VA, but is currently not a legally established branch of the VA. To protect it from being reconsidered by future administrations or Congressional sessions, the Improving Veteran Experience Act of 2023 would codify the VEO into law so it can continue to provide consistent care into the future.
“Maine’s veterans have consistently answered their call of duty, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are able to access their hard-earned benefits smoothly and efficiently,” said Senator King. “The Improving Veteran Experience Act of 2023 would ensure that our veterans receive the best possible customer service from the VA, whether it’s 20 weeks after transitioning to civilian life or 20 years. Our veterans dedicated their lives to guaranteeing our freedoms here at home and this bill would make sure we are being responsive to them long after they’ve retired the uniform.”
“The brave men and women who have selflessly served our country deserve the highest-quality health care, services, and benefits,” said Senator Cornyn. “The Veteran’s Experience Office helps the VA deliver tailored, efficient customer service to our veterans, and I’m glad to support this legislation to make it permanent.”
The VEO uses a human-centered-design (HCD) approach to serve veterans, and more accurately meet their needs, by asking open ended questions of customers and stakeholders to constantly integrate feedback into solutions.
Representing one of the states with the highest rates of veterans per capita, Senator King is a staunch advocate for America’s servicemembers and veterans. Since joining the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), Senator King has been working on improving the servicemember-to-veteran transition process. In May, he led a bipartisan letter to urge the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Denis McDonough to improve connections to local resources for servicemembers transitioning to civilian life. He also introduced the bipartisan TAP Promotion Act which would allow accredited representatives from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), or other organizations, participate in TAP classes to help transitioning servicemembers file Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) claims as TAP classroom instructors are not legally allowed to help veterans fill out benefits paperwork.