I recently needed to make an update to the status of my dependents for my file with the VA. I could easily do this with a paper form, but I decided to try the Veterans On-Line Application, or VONAPP. The government is trying to move more processes online which reduces paperwork and saves them time with processing forms. If you need to file a claim or make an adjustment to your VA Claims file and have access to a computer, then consider using VONAPP to make your application process a little faster.
I created this tutorial to show users how to create a new VONAPP account, and I will follow this up with a tutorial on how to submit a claim using VONAPP.
Creating a new VONAPP Account
The first step is to visit the VONAPP login page. Once there, you will see a screen similar to the image below. Select the option on the right if this is your first time using VONAPP and you need to create a VONAPP account.
Choosing how to log on to VONAPP. If you currently have a DoD issued military ID card or DoD civil service card – Common Access Card (CAC), you may be able to log on with your current credentials. If not, you will be required to log on using a new VONAPP account.
Login in with a VONAPP account. If you clicked the link on the right, you will see the screen below. If you already have a VONAPP account, enter your credentials. If not, you will need to click on Sign-Up Now link to create a new account.
Create your account username and password
Once you reach this point, you must create a new account using a unique username and password. The VA recommends using a username which isn’t related to your real name, Social Security Number, password, password hint, or other information which may help identify you. Because of hte sensitive nature of VA claims, you need to protect yourself from fraud or identity theft.
VONAPP passwords must be between 8-15 characters in length and should contain at least one or more upper- and lower-case letter and a number. CNN has an article about password safety in which they recommend avoiding one of the most common passwords, which is Password1. As you can see, this meets the security requirements of an upper- and lower-case letter and a number. But it also contains a dictionary word, which is easy to hack. Instead, try using something more complex. Your password hint should not contain any part of your password. You should also avoid using words which might be found in a dictionary, as they are relatively easy to hack.
Instead, consider using a password manager, such as LastPass or KeePass. Both of these help you create and manage secure passwords without having to always remember them. KeePass is open source and free, and LastPass has both a free and premium version (at only $1 per month).
Once you click “create account” you will be automatically logged in to your account. From there, you can begin processing your new claim.