Veterans get secure single sign-on for benefits

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Veterans can now access and manage their health care and benefits more easily and securely online through a single sign-on on the Vets.gov website, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week.

The portal, operated through an API from veteran-owned digital identity-management company ID.me, meets the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Level of Assurance 3, which confirms a veteran is who they say they are online to the highest degree of certainty currently available.

The VA claims it is the first federal agency to meet that LOA 3 standard.

Using a multi-factor authentication process from ID.me on the recently launched Vets.gov website, veterans can now access several services that were spread across several websites, like checking on a benefits claim, communicating with a health care provider and ordering prescription refills.

“This move is just the latest step in VA’s effort to improve Veterans’ access to VA services and information,” VA CTO Marina Martin said in a statement. “Protecting Veterans’ privacy and personal information is central to our mission, and these improvements keep that commitment while making communication with VA more convenient and accessible.”

Before the partnership with ID.me, veterans had to verify their identity in person with the VA to access services online, ID.me CEO Blake Hall said.

“Now, Veterans can easily verify their identity at Vets.gov from their own home or on the go,” he said. “The net result is a substantial improvement in access and customer experience.”

ID.me was chosen in May as a subcontractor for Maryland-based Ad Hoc LLC’s $12.9 million contract to support the iterative development of Vets.gov, which the VA launched on Veteran’s Day 2015 as a consolidation of the department’s many websites and services into one central, vet-friendly portal.

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Cybersecurity, Department of veterans affairs, Departments, identity management, Tech