With a single username and password, veterans can now access services through the main Veterans Affairs Department website, the HealtheVet portal or the agency’s mobile app—and the login might be one they already use for other government services.
Three major VA service portals—VA.gov, My HealtheVet and the VA: Health and Benefits mobile app—can now be logged into using credentials through the General Services Administration’s single sign-on product Login.gov, the two agencies announced Tuesday.
Login.gov was launched in 2017 to function as a single credentialing portal for citizens and other users interacting with the government through agencies’ websites and apps. Rather than require users to create unique log-ins for every service, Login.gov would allow people to create a single account that could be reused infinitely across the federal government.
VA users can now take advantage of that service.
Veterans who do not have a Login.gov account now are being encouraged to create one, though it is not yet required, a VA spokesperson told Nextgov.
“Currently, Veterans can use their existing method to sign in to access VA services. The next phase of Login.gov implementation includes helping users adopt Login.gov as a sign in method,” they said.
Eventually, Login.gov will be the only valid credentials for using VA services. However, “There is no specific date to turn off other sign in methods until a pathway for all users to adopt Login.gov is established,” they said, adding, “The next phase of Login.gov implementation includes developing potential ways to transition existing user accounts.”
Veterans who already have Login.gov accounts for other federal websites can begin using those credentials right away without any additional steps. VA does require identity proofing, the spokesperson noted, and users will have to go through that step if they hadn’t when setting up their Login.gov account previously.
“As part of the department’s digital transformation efforts focused on continuous improvement, we’re embracing the innovative technology designed by Login.gov to provide our Veterans a seamless sign-in experience to better serve, engage and enhance the customer experience,” VA Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington said Tuesday in the announcement, noting, “Login.gov is a secure digital credential designed to streamline how users access government benefits and services.”
VA officials told Nextgov the agency also plans to integrate the eBenefits portal later this year, along with other mobile apps. They also noted ongoing efforts to move more services to the central VA.gov homepage, which will then be accessible through that site using Login.gov credentials.
“This is an important example of using technology to deliver services that provide convenient access to benefits while supporting veterans as they transition into civilian life,” said Dave Zvenyach, director of Technology Transformation Services at GSA.
The credentials work with a number of federal services, including, soon, the IRS. The VA announcement notes the service works with other agencies veterans frequently interact with, as well, such as the Office of Personnel Management and the Small Business Administration.
The announcement comes just over two months after the Technology Modernization Fund awarded VA $10.5 million to help with the transition.
Login.gov has been the recipient of TMF money, as well, receiving the largest single award in the fund’s history: $187 million.